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May 13, 2013
Mark Lane has stood down as England Women's head coach after five years having overseen a successful period during which England became one of the best sides in the world.
But his resignation follows disappointment, coming three months after a disastrous Women's World Cup where England underperformed having entered the tournament as favourites. England were made to sweat on progressing from the group stage before failing to make the final having come up short chasing 147 against Australia in the Super Six phase.
The tournament marks a poor end to Lane's reign which, on the whole, was very fruitful. England won two global tournaments and the profile of women's cricket has been raised significantly. Between April 2008 and February 2013, England won 46 out of 60 Women's one-day internationals and won 43 out of 54 Women's T20s.
The ECB will name a successor to Lane ahead of the Ashes series against Australia which begins on August 11. An interim appointment may be made for the limited-overs series against Pakistan at the start of July.
"After a period of reflection I have decided that my time has come to a close," Lane, who played for Berkshire Minor Counties, said. "With a new World Cup cycle ahead, I believe now is the right time for the players and staff to work with a new head coach. Likewise, it is the right time for me to seek new challenges.
"I have had five privileged years in the role and can look back on a period of significant success. 2009 was undoubtedly the highlight - two wins in ICC global events and a series whitewash over Australia as well as retaining the Ashes. As I reflect, I can see how far we've come and I'm immensely proud to have contributed to the team's success."
After being appointed in April 2008, Lane guided England to World Cup glory just one year into the job with victory over New Zealand in Sydney - England's second World Cup triumph. Three months later, England became Twenty20 World Champions and followed that by retaining the Ashes. Lane was named as coach of the year by Sport Coach UK.
Those heights weren't matched in subsequent years as senior players retired and Lane refreshed the squad with younger talent. England lost the Ashes January 2011 but bounced back in the shortest format, winning 21 consecutive T20s before reaching the final of the 2012 Women's World T20, losing to Australia in the final.
"Mark has made a huge contribution to women's cricket in this country," Hugh Morris, managing director of England Cricket, said. "He should be proud of his and the team's achievements over a period of almost unprecedented success. I would like to thank him for his commitment and dedication over the past five years."
Clare Connor, former England Women's captain and now head of England Women's Cricket, added: "Mark has been instrumental in the sustained success enjoyed by England Women and we will never forget 2009, that magical period of time when England Women became to first team to win two ICC World trophies in the same year. Before taking on the role of head coach, Mark devoted years to coaching and developing the skills of female cricketers and his knowledge, skill and enthusiasm are highly valued by all who have worked with him."
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