Surrey County Cricket Club have confirmed the appointment of Emma Calvert as the club’s director of women’s cricket.

Calvert, who is currently regional director of women’s cricket for the South East Stars, will formally join Surrey at the end of the season to lead the new, professional Surrey team which will replace the Stars.

The news comes after Surrey were confirmed by the ECB as one of eight counties to host professional women’s teams from 2025. Surrey, Hampshire, Essex, Durham, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Somerset and Warwickshire have been awarded Tier 1 status as part of a major restructure of the domestic game. Yorkshire will receive Tier 1 status in 2026 and Glamorgan will receive Tier 1 status in 2027, with another two teams to be added in 2029. Counties who were unsuccessful with their Tier 1 bid will be confirmed in Tier 2 or Tier 3 by September.

Calvert explained that there is plenty that needs to be done to be ready for next year.

“There's a lot of things that we need to make sure we have in place around facilities and infrastructure,” said Calvert. “Now we know what the new team will be we need to renegotiate contracts. If a player is in the final year of their contract then from June 1 they can talk to any other team so we want to make sure we get our players recontracted before then. The new world will be more player contracts, which will mean we'll be able to contract more of our team – which will be really exciting.”

Calvert joined the South East Stars in October 2022 and has seen plenty of progress in the women’s game since then, and is excited by the new structure and the promise of further growth.

“When I joined we only had five professionals in the team,” said Calvert. “We took it very quickly to 11. We have already been in a better space in the past couple of years, but that's only going to grown even more. We need to expand the squad and give more people the opportunity to train and play full-time.

“It's been so exciting to be part of this growth journey. It’s been absolutely incredible. It wasn't just the player space we expanded – it was the staffing too. We grew the professional infrastructure with sports psychology, nutrition and things we never had before. The science and medicine space grew massively, which was something we really needed – it makes a huge difference. It's been really exciting. With the girls training full-time and not having to worry about working on the side of that – the difference that makes is huge. In terms of the coaching support originally we only had a head coach – we didn't have assistant coaches. Now we've got two full-time and one part-time assistant coach. Having more people to be able to facilitate the training is huge.

“The direction of travel is growth. Eight teams next year is probably where we're at right now in terms of the depth of talent. The next players are very young, but give them a couple more years and it will be really exciting that there will be more teams for those players to join. Because the women's professional game is in its infancy we don’t know the age that a player will hit their peak. That could be late 20s. They could be playing Tier 2 high-level cricket and still find their way back in. I think that's really important.”

The Herald have teamed up with Surrey to give away four free tickets to four men’s T20 matches at the Kia Oval this summer, one of which is a double header with a women’s T20. The four free tickets are available for the South East Stars v Southern Vipers and Surrey v Somerset double header on Sunday, June 2, the Surrey v Sussex T20 on Friday, June 7, the Surrey v Glamorgan T20 on Friday, June 21, and the Surrey v Kent T20 on Sunday, July 7.

To enter the competition, please email [email protected] with the subject header Surrey cricket tickets before 9am on Tuesday, May 28. Please include your first name, surname, email address, contact phone number and home address in the email.