LONDON (Reuters) – England named Australian Lisa Keightley, the first woman to score a century at Lord’s, as the first full-time female head coach of their women’s cricket team on Wednesday.
The 48-year-old Western Australia and Perth Scorchers coach will take over in January from interim coach Alistair Maiden, who was put in charge after Mark Robinson left in August.
“I’m massively excited,” said former international Keightley who was appointed head coach of London Spirit in The Hundred but will now vacate that role.
“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.”
Keightley, who was a top-order batsman and occasional bowler, played nine tests and 82 one-day internationals for Australia from 1995 to 2005. She ended her ODI career with an average of 39.84 runs and a top score of 156 not out.
England’s women’s team are the reigning 50-overs world champions and Keightley would be expected to mastermind a triumphant campaign in next year’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.
“Lisa was the stand-out candidate from a varied and highly talented group of applicants,” ECB Managing Director of Women’s Cricket Clare Connor said.
“I am excited about the progress our sport continues to make and I’m sure that Lisa’s appointment will rightly be seen as another huge step for women’s cricket.”
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by David Clarke)