Brown and Vlaeminck opening the bowling together is an exciting prospect: Shawn Flegler

Darcie Brown (L) and Tayla Vlaeminck (R) © Getty Images

Shawn Flegler, CA’s female high-performance manager and national selector, is excited at the prospect of having speedsters Darcie Brown and Tayla Vlaeminck opening the bowling together for Australia but added that the priority to manage them to last through the upcoming season.

Brown, who made her debut during the New Zealand tour, was awarded her maiden national contract when Australia announced national contracts for 2021-22 on Thursday (April 15). Vlaeminck is also part of the 15 players who were named in the contracts list after successfully making a comeback from her long injury lay-off during the same series.

“She (Brown) has always been a that’s really raw fast for her age, what we’ve seen over the last 12 to 18 months is that consistency developed. Outswing at good pace is pretty handy thing to have an international level and Darcie certainly got that in spades,” Flegler said at a media interaction post the contract announcement.

“I think just as her body has developed, she’s grown a lot stronger. There’s still a lot of work to do there. She’s only 18 and I think Ryan Harris (fast bowling coach) noted when we were in New Zealand just the ease at which he runs into the wicket.”

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“We think she can get faster. She’s got a great attitude about her. Nothing seems to phase her. She took some key wickets during WBBL, started off WNCL and hurried a few batters up over in New Zealand on some wickets that were pretty sluggish.”

18-year-old Brown made her debut during the second T20I against New Zealand and finished with figures of 1 for 26 from her four overs. She also made her ODI debut in the series that followed bowling only a solitary over in the third ODI as Australia extended their unbeaten run to 24 matches. Vlaeminck returned from injury with the first T20I and didn’t feature in all the matches with Australia choosing to manage her return. The pace bowling duo is yet to feature together in a match for the T20 World Champions.

“To think about her (Brown) and Tayla bowling on a nice quick wicket against some of the batter’s is pretty exciting. Some of our batters faced that in the nets in the practice situations and it was good fun to watch, probably not so much fun to face for our batters, but exciting time ahead,” Flegler said.

“Our focus is the ODI World Cup. that’s been the focus since 2017. If the opportunity does present at some point over the over the summer that those two to open the bowling together, that would be great. We’re really conscious that we do have to manage both of them and both are high risk.”

“Tayla’s coming back from significant injuries as well and we’ve done a great job and she’s done an outstanding job to get through to the end of this season without breaking down again and we need to do that for Darcie well next year.”

Flegler admitted while it will be exciting for them to open the bowling together in the Ashes Test but priority is keep them fit through the season managing their workload.

“It’s not going to be first game of the season both the opening the bowling together. I can’t see that happening. We’re going to have to manage the way they train and the way they play really carefully. It’s going to be the busiest season the girls have had ever next season. So, we want to be peaking on the 3rd of April not you know on the in the middle of September,” he added.

“The Ashes Test is an interesting one, that will be right at the start after Christmas when we’re leading into the World Cup. We just got to be tracking how they’re performing and managing the loads up until that point and then again reassessing and hopefully the plan is to get them through to the 3rd of April with both of them available for selection call.”

Allrounder Delissa Kimmince is the only change in the Australia contracts from the 2020-21 season as the 31-year-old announced her retirement from the game. She played 6 ODIs and 44 T20Is for Australia after making her debut against New Zealand in an ODI in 2008. She took 14 wickets in ODIs at an average of 29.42 including a five-wicket haul and in T20Is, she finished with 45 wickets to her name at an average of 21.08 and an economy rate of 6.73.

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“First DK (Kimmince), really proud and happy that she got to finish or good to have the back end of a career that she deserved. She’s been outstanding, contributed to Australian cricket and she played some key roles for us in that semi-final against South Africa at the SCG, was brilliant the way she held the nerve there. She should be really proud of her career,” Flegler said while lauding the seam bowling allrounder.