The SkyCity Hamilton Northern Spirit have named their squad for the 2019-20 season; the side's 20th in domestic cricket.
Among the squad are nine members with domestic playing contracts; something introduced for the first time this season.
The new contracts are a feature of the women's Master Agreement announced last month, and provide players with financial support to reimburse them for preparation and playing time during a busy summer schedule.
Spirit head coach Kari Carswell welcomed this positive step for the women's game in New Zealand.
"It shows that New Zealand Cricket are serious about developing and improving the women's game further down the pathway, which can only lead to improved cricketers playing against each other more regularly," she said.
Outside of the nine contracted players, the Spirit have named a wider squad which includes several new faces and provides balance for the upcoming season.
"We have a good mix of youth and experience which blend into a talented squad," Carswell said.
"The balance was important as the whole squad will have roles to play at different stages of the season, I have no doubt about that."
On the subject of the Spirit's anniversary, Carswell acknowledged the work that has been done to improve opportunities for female cricketers in the region.
"It's important to recognise how far the Spirit have come," she said.
"It's still a relatively young team compared to the others, but we are happy with the opportunities we now provide to players within the pathway and Spirit squad."
ND chief executive Ben MacCormack also reflected on what is a "huge milestone for women's cricket in Northern Districts."
"The Spirit are the vehicle for our people to play at the highest level and also watch our athletes on some of the best grounds in the world, so to celebrate 20 years is fantastic" said MacCormack.
"It is exciting to see what the future holds as we increase investment in the women's game."
"Cricket is a game for all New Zealanders, and we must be relevant for women."
2019-20 SKYCITY HAMILTON NORTHERN SPIRIT SQUAD
Kate Anderson (domestic contract)
Bernadine Bezuidenhout (WHITE FERNS contract)
Carolyn Esterhuizen (domestic contract)
Katie Gurrey (domestic contract)
Brooke Halliday (domestic contract)
Felicity Leydon-Davis (domestic contract)
Olivia Lobb (domestic contract)
Lily Mulivai (domestic contract)
Eimear Richardson (domestic contract)
Alisha Rout (domestic contract)