All-rounder Ellyse Perry, as well as young pacer Tayla Vlaeminck, will return to action when Australia will take on New Zealand next month following a long injury layoff. They both sustained injuries during the ICC T20 World Cup at home last year. The three-match T20I series will begin on March 28 whereas the three-match ODI series starts on April 4 as well.

Vlaeminck was ruled out of the tournament after being diagnosed with a stress fracture on her right foot during the mega event. She last featured for Australia in February last year in the Tri-series final against India just before the T20 World Cup at home as well. While she was on the verge of a return in Australia’s home series, she was ruled out of the tournament as well as the WBBL after feeling pain in the ankle during rehab as well.

Ellyse Perry, on the other hand, was added to the squad for the home series against New Zealand but didn’t feature in any of the games after suffering from hamstring tightness as well. However, she played in the WBBL for Sydney Sixers.

Meanwhile, the selectors have also handed over the maiden call-ups to Darcie Brown and Hannah Darlington after their impressive show in recent times. 17-year-old Brown was quite impressive in the WBBL where she has played for Adelaide Strikers, picking up 10 wickets in 12 games at an economy rate of 5.52. Darlington, meanwhile, played a crucial role in Sydney Thunder’s victorious campaign, finishing as the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 19 scalps in 14 games as well.

“Since the completion of our home series against New Zealand in October, the players have completed a full WBBL campaign, followed by a period of rest and recovery before reconvening for the beginning of the WNCL campaign,” National Selector Shawn Flegler has said while announcing the squad.

“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,” Flegler again shared.

“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,” further added.

He continued: “These new additions are complemented by the return of Tayla Vlaeminck to the national squad after a long injury layoff. 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.”

Australi Squad:

Meg Lanning (C), Rachael Haynes (VC), 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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