London, Aug 9 (IANS) Lisa Keightley will step down from her role as England women’s team head coach after the end of the summer following a mutual decision not to extend her contract, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on Tuesday.
Keightley has been in the role since January 2020, taking the team to the semi-final of the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and the final of the 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup.
England will now begin recruiting for a new coach just over six months out from the 2023 T20 World Cup in South Africa. Keightley’s last assignment with the English side will be the white-ball home series against India, starting September 10.
“Both parties agreed the timing was right to ensure the next Head Coach has time to work with the squad in the lead up to the next ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, scheduled for February 2023 in South Africa,” the ECB said in a statement.
“Keightley’s last series will be September’s visit to India. The ECB will now begin the recruitment process for the new England Women Head Coach,” it added.
The 50-year-old Keightley also oversaw England’s run to the semifinals of the Commonwealth Games recently where they missed out on a medal after the losses to India (in the semi-final) and New Zealand (third-place runners up).
“We are incredibly grateful for the commitment and passion Lisa has shown over the last two-and-a-half years in the role. We have seen increased competition for places over the last 12 months and the squad Lisa leaves is an exciting blend of youth and experience,” said Jonathan Finch, Director of England Women’s Cricket.
“Leading an international team is challenging at the best of times. It is more challenging during a pandemic, and Lisa has been able to continue the development of the team during what has been the toughest period we have faced off the field,” he added.
Interim Chief Executive Officer Clare Connor said, “I’d like to place on record our sincere thanks to Lisa for all her efforts across the last two-and-a-half years.Lisa was always a fierce opponent when she represented Australia, and she’s brought that same pride, passion and will to win into everything she’s done with the England Women’s team.”
“The team have enjoyed working with her immensely and I know they’ll join me in wishing her all the very best for her next challenge,” she added.