Cricket Australia on Tuesday announced a 17-member women's squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand, with Darcie Brown and Hannah Darlington being named in the national squad for the first time.
Australia will take on New Zealand in three T20Is from March 28, before the coveted Rose Bowl Trophy goes on the line in three ODIs from April 4. Cricket Australia also announced that Ryan Harris has been appointed bowling coach for the tour.
While Brown and Darlington have been selected in the Australian squad for the first time, Tayla Vlaeminck returned after making a strong comeback from injury in the Women's National Cricket League.
Squad: Meg Lanning (captain), Rachael Haynes (vice-captain), 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.
Commenting on the squad, national selector Shawn Flegler, in a statement, said: "We're excited to announce this 17-player squad for the tour of New Zealand after a long break from national commitments for our playing group. Since the completion of our home series against New Zealand in October, the players have completed a full WBBL|06 campaign, followed by a period of rest and recovery before reconvening for the beginning of the WNCL campaign.
"Throughout that period the likes of Darcie Brown and Hannah Darlington have impressed us with their skill and professionalism, and we are delighted to reward them with selection in this squad. Darcie enjoyed an excellent rebel WBBL campaign with the Adelaide Strikers and has also made a great start to the WNCL with the SA Scorpions. Her ability to bowl fast outswing makes her an exciting prospect at just 17-years-old," he added.
Welcoming Darlington to the squad, Flegler said she has been included in the squad with a focus on the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and 2023 ICC Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa.
"We also welcome Hannah Darlington into the squad after playing a crucial part in the Sydney Thunder's rebel WBBL|06 championship. 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. These new additions are complemented by the return of Tayla Vlaeminck to the national squad after a long injury layoff," Flegler said.
"She has been working her way back to full fitness in the WNCL with Victoria and we've already seen some devastating spells from her. Similarly, Ellyse Perry has been making solid progress in her return from a hamstring injury and we look forward to her taking part in this series after not featuring against New Zealand in September and October," he added. (ANI)