London: Former Australian international Lisa Keightley became the first woman to be appointed full-time coach of the England women's cricket team on Wednesday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced.
The 48-year-old who played nine Tests and 85 One Day Internationals succeeds Mark Robinson and will take up her post in January.
Keightley — who coached the England Women's Academy between 2011 and 2015 — takes over a team that, like their male counterparts, are world champions in the 50 over format.
"I'm massively excited. It's a huge opportunity. It's a team full of world-class players and to be given the chance to work with some of the players who I worked with a few years ago is really exciting. I can't wait to get started and see where we can get to," said Keightley, who went on to win the World Cup as a player in her swansong season in 2005.
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"England are the current 50-over world champions and they made it to the final of the last ICC Women's T20 World Cup. They're a very competitive side and they wouldn't be in big matches like that if they didn't have a really strong group of players who can perform on the big stage," she added.
Former Australian men's coach Darren Lehmann welcomed her appointment tweeting: "Great news"
Keightley — who is presently coaching the Perth Scorchers in the Women's Big Bash in Australia — will step down from her role as head coach of Hundred franchise London Spirit.
Clare Connor, the ECB managing director of women's cricket, said Keightley had impressed the selection panel with her vision.
"Lisa was the stand-out candidate from a varied and highly talented group of applicants. The interview panel were unanimously impressed by Lisa's demonstration of her suitability for the role, her impressive knowledge of the game and her passion for coaching and developing players. She outlined clear plans as to how she believes she can take the team and this group of players forward," said Connor.
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The fifth Test was cancelled after a COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp which made visiting players reluctant to play fearing a positive result might lead to 10-day isolation and scheduling nightmare of Indian Premier League.
It is understood that ECB will press for a forfeiture of the fifth Test which would allow them to claim the compensation from the insurance company.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are still adamant and have not thought about postponement which has irked the senior players and support staff.