Mark Robinson has been confirmed as the new head coach of the England Women's team. He has been 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.
He will take up his new role at the end of the year ahead of the tour of South Africa in February which is then followed by the World T20 in India. England have reached the last two World T20 finals, losing to Australia both times, but have not won a global tournament since 2009. They also relinquished the Ashes this year which led to the restructuring of the coaching roles with Paul Shaw leaving the position of Head of England Women's Performance which has been made redundant.
"I'm incredibly excited about this opportunity," Robinson said. "It is obvious to everybody how quickly women's cricket has grown in recent years - the game is now truly professional in every respect - so to have the chance to play a part in the next chapter for the England women's team is a great honour. I'm also really looking forward to the challenge of coaching in an international environment again.
"It does mean I will be leaving Sussex, and I would like to thank everyone who I have worked and played alongside at the club, as well as the supporters, for providing me with so many happy memories."
Clare Connor, the ECB director of women's cricket, said: "We are absolutely delighted to appoint Mark as the head coach of the England women's team. He has a superb coaching record with Sussex, experience of working with England teams, a reputation for getting the best out of players, and is highly regarded as one of the best coaches working in the men's professional game.
"The next 18 months are hugely important for the England women's team and the players must quickly get back to winning ways in South Africa in February. Starting in India in March 2016, we will be competing in three ICC world events in the next three years and I fully believe Mark has the skill set and experience to lead the team to sustained success on their exciting journey as professional cricketers.
"The fact that we have been able to attract a coach of Mark's calibre is another demonstration that England women's cricket continues to hit new heights. It has been a highly competitive recruitment process, and we are all thrilled to have him on board."
Following the World T20 the focus will switch to the 2017 World Cup which is being hosted by England. That tournament could be a swansong for captain Charlotte Edwards although a poor World T20 could bring her position under scrutiny much sooner.