England women November 10, 2015

Robinson set to be named England women coach

Mark Robinson (right, with Graham Thorpe) has made a strong impression at Sussex and with the England Lions © Gallo Images

The ECB is set to unveil the new coach of the England women's team on Wednesday, with Mark Robinson the favourite to be appointed to the role.

Robinson, the Sussex coach for a decade, was interviewed for the men's coaching role in 2014 and has made a good impression as Lions coach, most recently overseeing the tour to South Africa at the start of 2015.

Chris Adams, once a colleague of Robinson's at Sussex and more recently director of cricket at Surrey, is understood to have made the last two from a strong field of candidates.

If Robinson, 48, is confirmed in the role, he will be charged with leading a resurgence in a team that has - by its high standards - appeared to falter in recent times.

England lost the Ashes in the summer, have lost both their last two Tests (against Australia in 2015 and India in 2014), have seen little progress from their 18 contracted players after moving into an era of professionalism about 18 months ago and have seen their two key performers, Sarah Taylor and Charlotte Edwards, struggle for their best form.

Few of the Academy prospects are demanding a place in the senior squad, either, with Fran Wilson perhaps the only addition to the list of centrally contracted players expected when the squad is announced at the end of January.

England also face a tricky winter. Their form in the past and their newly-acquired professional status renders anything less than a semi-final placing in the World T20 something of a disappointment but, with the tournament being played in India, that could prove challenging. Edwards' future as captain may also become a discussion point. She turns 36 next month, and is already in her 20th year as an international cricketer.

Robinson has presided over something of a golden age for Sussex. They won the Championship twice during his tenure, in 2006 and 2007 (although his critics would point out that many of the foundations for those successes had been laid by his predecessor, Peter Moores), and also collected four limited-overs trophies. His daughter has represented the club's youth teams.

But the timing of his departure would be unfortunate. Sussex suffered relegation at the end of the 2015 season and, for all the good work Robinson has put into the club, they are at the start of a rebuilding process.

If Robinson is appointed by the ECB, as expected, Adams and Moores are sure to be linked to the vacant position at Sussex though the latter appears quite happy with his background role at Nottinghamshire.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments