England cricket: Mahmood, Stone and Overton given development contracts

Craig Overton celebrates a wicket
Craig Overton featured for England in last summer's drawn Ashes series with Australia

Saqib Mahmood, Olly Stone and Craig Overton will be the first recipients of England pace bowling development contracts this summer.

It gives the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) more control over when they play for their counties.

Mahmood, 22, Stone, 26, and Overton, 25, will also have a "significant" amount of the salary they earn at their counties paid for by the ECB.

The new contracts will run until 30 September.

"A strong supply line of high-quality seam bowlers is essential for sustained England Team success," England managing director Ashley Giles said.

"We are very grateful to the first-class counties for agreeing to this, in particular, Lancashire, Warwickshire and Somerset.

"We are committed to working very closely with them to best develop players for the long-term benefit of English cricket and to ensure they are at their very best to perform at optimum levels throughout the domestic campaign."

The trio will work closely with the ECB's National Performance Centre in Loughborough and the terms of the deal mean they will have to make themselves available to participate in the England Lions individualised player programme and Lions tours.

Overton and Stone have both played Tests and one-day internationals for England, while Mahmood appeared in three Twenty20 games against New Zealand last November.

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