Mark Robinson is to leave his role as head coach of England women's team. Robinson oversaw England's victory in the 2017 World Cup but has subsequently seen his side overwhelmed by Australia in the Ashes amid criticism that few young players have established themselves in the side.
Appointed in late 2015, Robinson created waves with his decision to drop Charlotte Edwards, his side's captain and senior player, after a disappointing showing in the 2016 World T20. But when his new appointment, Heather Knight, led the side to victory at Lord's in 2017, it seemed English cricket could be at the start of a bright new era.
It was not to be. A lack of depth in the game and improvements in the development programmes of other nations saw England's results falter, with a 12-4 defeat to Australia this summer suggesting a chasm had grown between the sides. Like many coaches before him, Robinson has found that Ashes failure will not be tolerated. England are currently third in the ODI rankings and second in the T20I rankings.
"Mark can reflect on his time as England coach with a great deal of pride," Clare Connor, the ECB's managing director of women's cricket, said. "Winning the Women's World Cup in 2017 in front of a packed Lord's was a landmark moment for the whole game and his leadership and professionalism were an integral part of our success.
"He drove high standards across young players to become the best team in the world as well as coaching them to understand the demands of professional sport.
"Mark passionately championed the development of the women's game during his time in this role and we thank him for all he has contributed to England women's cricket during such an exciting stage of our journey. However, after discussions with Mark, we have agreed that now is the right time for him to step down as England Women's Head Coach.
"It is important that we give Mark's successor time to shape the team's future direction and to begin to develop strong relationships with the players as we plan for the next phase of our international calendar."
Assistant coach, Alastair Maiden, will take temporary charge of the team, whose next commitment is an ICC Women's Championship series against Pakistan in December. The first task for Robinson's successor will be to oversee England's campaign at the 2020 Women's World T20, taking place in Australia early next year.
"Although the recent Ashes was a difficult series, a few hard weeks doesn't take anything away from what has been a wonderful four years," Robinson said. "I've had so many highlights and memorable moments with the team.
"Nothing could ever surpass winning the Women's World Cup on home soil, but from a pure coaching perspective, reaching the T20 final last November - with a depleted team, three non-contracted players and three players twenty years old or younger - is a huge personal highlight.
"It's been exciting to watch so many players grow and to watch so many records broken, but it feels the right time for me to take on a new challenge and to allow a different voice to come in before the next T20 World Cup in Australia. We have put a lot of groundwork in place, and this, coupled with the new investment into the women's game will make a huge difference in time.
"I would like to thank everyone associated with England Women for all the kindness and support they have shown me and wish Heather and the team all the best for the future."