Australia’s rich depth of talent has been highlighted with the inclusion of up-and-coming players Darcie Brown and Hannah Darlington for the white-ball tour of New Zealand.
Brown, 17, and Darlington, 20, have been selected in the national squad for the first time and will travel across the Tasman Sea for three T20s and three ODIs, starting in late March and running into April.
Ellyse Perry and Tayla Vlaeminck have also been included on the 17-woman list after both made encouraging comebacks from injury over the summer.
But it is Brown’s inclusion that most catches the eye given the promising fast bowler’s impressive breakout WBBL season, in which she claimed 10 wickets at 22.10.
“Darcie enjoyed an excellent WBBL campaign with the Adelaide Strikers and has also made a great start to the WNCL with the SA Scorpions,” chief selector Shawn Flegler said. “Her ability to bowl fast outswing makes her an exciting prospect at just 17 years old.”
Darlington also enjoyed a stellar year in her second WBBL season and she played a key role in the Sydney Thunder’s title win.
“She has been brought into the squad primarily with a T20 focus as we look towards both the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa,” Flegler said.
Meg Lanning’s team will get the opportunity to make history in the opening game of the ODI series on 4 April, when they will aim to win a record-breaking 22nd consecutive one-day match.
They were denied the chance to pass the 21-game mark they currently share with Ricky Ponting’s Australia side when a series slated for January against India was postponed due to Covid.
Australia’s women have not played a game since last October, when they sealed a 3-0 one-day sweep of New Zealand, off the back of a 2-1 series win in the 20-over format.
Australia squad: Meg Lanning, Rachael Haynes, Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Belinda Vakarewa, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham.
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