CRICKET

Jon Lewis named as England women’s head coach

Lewis (left) had been working as bowling coach for the England men’s side

Former England men’s seamer Jon Lewis has been named as the new England women’s head coach.

The 47-year-old replaces Lisa Keightley, who stepped down at the end of the summer after opting against seeking an extension to her contract.

Lewis, who won 16 caps across three formats, has worked as bowling coach with the England men’s side.

He will take charge for the women’s tour of West Indies, which begins on 4 December.

The three one-day internationals and five T20s in the Caribbean will serve as preparation for the T20 World Cup in South Africa early next year.

“It’s a new challenge, and one that I can’t wait to get stuck into,” Lewis, who has signed a four-year deal to 2026, said.

“I’ve watched from a distance over the last few years and it’s clear that there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about this team’s chances going forward.”

Lewis worked with England’s men under Chris Silverwood and most recently Brendon McCullum in the past summer.

He has been with the England Lions squad on their ongoing training camp in Dubai.

Lewis beat competition from namesake Jon Lewis, the former Durham coach, and Australian Ashley Noffke to land the England women’s role.

The former Gloucestershire, Surrey and Sussex bowler will oversee an England women’s squad whose fortunes have fluctuated in 2022.

Well beaten in the Ashes in Australia, captain Heather Knight’s side were on the brink of an early exit from the World Cup in New Zealand, only to recover and reach the final, where they were beaten by Australia.

A comprehensive home series win against South Africa was followed by a disappointing Commonwealth Games, where England missed out on a medal.

With Knight and vice-captain Nat Sciver missing from the end-of-summer meeting with India, England won the T20 series, but were poor in losing the ODI leg 3-0, the final match of which was overshadowed by a Mankad controversy.

Lewis inherits a squad on the brink of transition – of 17 centrally contracted players, seven are aged 29 or older, with eight 24 and younger.

The likes of Alice Capsey, Freya Kemp, Issy Wong and Lauren Bell are emerging and benefiting from the success of the women’s Hundred.

Knight and vice-captain Sciver should both return for the West Indies tour – Knight from hip surgery and Sciver after missing the India series to focus on her mental health.

All of the major titles in women’s cricket are currently held by Australia, who arrive in the UK to defend the Ashes, a series that includes a Test at Trent Bridge and T20s at Edgbaston, The Oval and Lord’s.

“Jon comes with excellent pedigree in the men’s game working across different levels of the international pathway, and we were really impressed by how he sees the role moving forward,” said Director of England Women’s Cricket Jonathan Finch.

“We look forward to him coming on board and driving the future direction of this team.”

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