The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) today confirmed that Richard Bates is stepping down from his role as England Women’s Head Coach.
On the announcement Bates said: “In some ways it is sad to be leaving the post as I still very much enjoy the job and have built up some strong relationships with the girls and support staff along the way.
“However I am equally as excited about moving on to fresh challenges in the future. It has been a tough decision for me but ultimately I feel the time is right for me to move on now. My family and I have decided to take the opportunity to move to Australia and are very much looking forward to the challenge and adventure ahead.”
Bates has coached the international women’s side for four years, having taken over from John Harmer in July 2003. Since his appointment he has led England to four consecutive home series wins against South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and India. He was coach during the phenomenal Ashes victory in 2005 and he also led England to their first victory over Australia in a one-day international in 12 years that same season.
Overseas he led England to victories over South Africa and Sri Lanka and to the semi-finals of the most recent World Cup in 2005.
He added: “It has been a very enjoyable four years and I have found it very rewarding working with an excellent management team and a talented group of players. I’m proud of the girls’ achievements in recent times and they are now showing that they can compete with other top nations on a regular basis which augers well for the key tournaments starting with the next World Cup in 2009.
“It has been an honour and a pleasure to be part of the girls’ successes in recent times, the highlight for me of course was winning the Ashes for the first time in 42 years and seeing how much it meant to the girls.”
England Women’s Captain Charlotte Edwards is disappointed to see Bates go, but is excited about the future: “I was surprised when he told me, but I completely understand the reasons behind his decision. I’ll be really sorry to see him go after working closely with him over the last 18 months. He has taught me a lot and I am grateful to him for everything he’s done for me and the team.
“He has been a huge influence on the squad and in his time he has turned it around and been a major factor in us becoming a successful outfit in international cricket. I wish him and his family the very best of luck for a successful future in Australia.
“We’ll all be looking with interest to see who’s appointed as the next coach and we’re certainly looking forward to New Zealand coming over in August for the NatWest Women’s Series and the NatWest Women’s International Twenty20.”
Bates added: “It’s been great working alongside Lottie. She has a winning mentality and really leads from the front wearing her heart on her sleeve. Although we are often on a similar wavelength she is strong, has her own ideas, follows them through and has what it takes to bring more success for the team.”
John Carr, Director of England Cricket, said: “Over the last four years Richard has done an excellent job as England Women’s Coach and the legacy of his work is a talented and youthful squad of players well-placed to achieve great success in the future.
“The team’s results over the home series have been particularly impressive with a highlight being the npower Women’s Ashes Test Series win in 2005. Richard will continue to play a key role in the first half of the summer before handing over to his successor prior to this summer’s international programme.”
The ECB will start the recruitment process for a new Head Coach in the very near future.
For further information contact the ECB Communications Department on 0207 432 1200
England and Wales Cricket Board Limited
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A Gutsy performance from both sides