Cathryn Fitzpatrick: Australia women's coach to step down

Cathryn Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick was regarded as the fastest bowler in women's cricket before she retired in 2007

Australia will need a new head coach for the Women's Ashes against England this summer after Cathryn Fitzpatrick announced she will step down in May.

The 47-year-old oversaw Australia's victory in the 2013 World Cup and World Twenty20 titles in 2012 and 2014.

"I am very proud of my work," said Fitzpatrick, who was appointed in 2012.

The former fast bowler is regarded as one of the all-time greats of women's cricket, having taken a record 180 one-day international wickets.

The Women's Ashes begins in Taunton on 21 July, with England aiming for a third successive win since the points-based multi-format series was introduced in 2013.

Fitzpatrick said a coach with a "fresh approach" will help Australia "continue their rise and reach their potential".

"I want to concentrate on helping our next batch of youngsters coming through," she added.

"I also think I can play a role in building the new Women's Big Bash League, hopefully through a coaching role with one of the teams."

Cricket Australia executive general manager of team performance Pat Howard said: "She leaves her post with the team clearly at the top of its game and as one of the country's most admired sporting sides.

"We will now undertake a process of searching for a new head coach."

Meg Lanning and Cathryn Fitzpatrick
Australia beat England in the finals of the 2012 and 2014 Women's World Twenty20 tournaments under Fitzpatrick