Sydney: Cricket Australia (CA) announced the centrally contracted women’s players on Thursday (April 15). There’s just one change to last year’s 15-member list with teenager Darcie Brown replacing Delissa Kimmince, who retired from top-level cricket.
The 18-year-old – termed as “the fastest bowler in the country” by selector Shawn Flegler – becomes the youngest to bag a full CA contract since 17-year-old Lauren Cheatle made the cut in 2017.
“Darcie is an incredibly exciting fast-bowling talent, as we saw on the recent T20I and ODI tour of New Zealand, and she has consistently been the fastest bowler in the country as shown by our testing around the states,” Flegler said.
“She’s had tremendous raw pace throughout the junior ranks, and we think she has the potential to form an excellent new ball partnership with Tayla Vlaeminck for many years to come.”
Brown played for Adelaide Strikers and picked up 10 wickets in 2020-21 Women’s Big Bash League. She was selected for the tour of New Zealand early this year where she debuted in ODIs and T20Is.
Ryan Harris, the bowling coach for the New Zealand series, said: “Darcie just does it so easy. It makes me jealous, actually, because I had to work hard to bowl fast and she does it so easy as well. She’s got it all. She’s an athlete, she gets into the wicket easy and gets through her delivery stride with ease.
“The sky is the limit. I look at her and the ease in the way she does run into the wicket and delivers the ball, her pace is really good for her age. I think there’s still room for improvement there as well, which is the scary thing.”
The likes of Georgia Redmayne, Elyse Villani, Katie Mack, Bridget Patterson and Rachel Trenamen could not make the cut. However, they can earn a contract by getting selected and accumulating 12 upgrade points, with Tests worth four points for women’s players and ODIs and T20s worth two each.
This is a big year for the Australian Women’s team as they host England in a home Ashes and will be playing the World Cup in New Zealand. The 15 players will form the foundation on which they can build their challenge in the next 12 months.
Cricket Australia women’s contract list, 2021-22:Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
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