WHITCHURCH'S star cricketer, Eve Jones, says turning professional was the catalyst to her successful season, after winning PCA Women's Player of the Year.

Jones now becomes the first domestic female professional cricketer to pick up one of the player-voted PCA Awards.

The uncapped 29-year-old, who is heading to Australia for the upcoming Women's Big Bash League, was one of 41 women to sign a full-time domestic deal last winter.

She had a summer to remember, registering more than 800 runs and helping Central Sparks and Birmingham Phoenix to within one win of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and The Hundred finals respectively.

Jones says signing the professional deal last winter has immeasurably boosted her career.

She said: "It has a big impact becoming a professional cricketer.

"We obviously had a lot more time to be able to dedicate to training.

"Becoming a professional cricketer has definitely taken my game to another level.

"That's definitely had a massive impact on my game, I've come into the season with a lot of confidence and I've had a lot of support and belief given to me by my team."