Labelled "the fastest bowler in the country" by national selector Shawn Flegler, Brown is the only new face on the list of 15 women's players centrally contracted by CA for the 2021-22 season. She takes the place of Queenslander Delissa Kimmince, who has announced her retirement from top-level cricket.

Scorpions skipper Megan Schutt and exciting allrounder Tahlia McGrath have had their national contracts renewed. 

Brown, who turned 18 last month, becomes the youngest player to earn a full CA contract since Lauren Cheatle was contracted as a 17-year-old in 2016.

"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 made her senior domestic debut at the start of last year and took the Rebel WBBL by storm this summer in her first season with the Adelaide Strikers, taking 10 wickets at an economy rate of just 5.52 an over.

She made her T20I and ODI debuts on the recent tour of New Zealand and earned high praise from former Australia quick, Ryan Harris.

"Darcie just does it so easy," Harris said. "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 list of 15 players announced today will form the bedrock of Australia's plans ahead of an important 12 months for the national team, which will include a home Ashes campaign against England and the one-day World Cup against New Zealand.

Despite winning the past two T20 World Cup titles and having recently broken the all-time record for consecutive ODI victories, Australia are not the current one-day World Cup holders after England won the most recent tournament, in 2017.

Players who miss out on the initial contract list can be upgraded during the year by earning selection in national teams. Players need to accrue 12 upgrade points to earn a contract, with Tests worth four points for women's players and ODIs and T20s worth two each.

Flegler acknowledged the recent performances of batters like Georgia Redmayne, Elyse Villani, Katie Mack, Bridget Patterson and Rachel Trenamen, but added the senior batting group of Meg Lanning, Rachael Haynes, Ellyse Perry, Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy is "a tough group to crack" into.

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