Mark Robinson: England women's head coach steps down after four years in role

England players celebrate after winning the World Cup at Lord's in 2017
Robinson's England beat India at Lord's in 2017 to win the World Cup

Head coach Mark Robinson, who steered England to victory in the Women's World Cup two years ago, has stepped down after nearly four years in the role.

Robinson, 52, departs following a 12-4 series defeat by Australia in the Women's Ashes earlier this summer.

The former Sussex men's coach took the England job in 2015 and his side beat India in the World Cup final in 2017.

He also led England to the final of last year's Women's World Twenty20, where they were beaten by Australia.

Assistant coach Alastair Maiden will take temporary charge of the team as they prepare for December's ICC Women's Championship series against Pakistan - which is being played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Robinson said: "Nothing could ever surpass winning the 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 20 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."

In March, Robinson told BBC Sport that replacing England men's head coach Trevor Bayliss was not "on the radar", with the Australian leaving his role at the end of the summer - but said he may return to men's cricket in the future, having won two County Championship titles in charge of Sussex.

England and Wales Cricket Board managing director of women's cricket, former national skipper Clare Connor, added: "After discussions with Mark, we have agreed that now is the right time for him to step down as 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."

"Mark can reflect on his time with a great deal of pride. Winning the 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."

Heather Knight and Mark Robinson
Heather Knight has been Robinson's captain since 2016

'The timing will surprise some' - analysis

Henry Moeran, BBC Test Match Special commentator

The marker for any England coach in the women's game tends to be where their side is compared to Australia. In recent years, the two global superpowers have been - in the main - neck and neck, but this summer's Ashes has shown that the Aussies are some distance ahead of England.

Mark Robinson hasn't had the resources of Australian counterpart Matthew Mott, particularly in terms of the professional talent pool, and the fact his England side have - until this summer - been challenging their great rivals is to his credit.

Add to that the importance of the World Cup win in 2017 in developing interest and participation levels around the women's game, and Robinson's time should be seen as a real success.

His appointment in 2015 was seen as a boon for the women's game, evidence of the ambition held within the ECB. Now the challenge will be to find a coach who can take England forward around a domestic structure that is due for a major overhaul from 2020.

No doubt the timing of the decision will surprise some - there's only six months until the T20 World Cup in Australia. But there is just about enough time for a new face to come in, assess his or her squad, and try to develop a team that can win down under.

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.