It was announced last month that England Academy Head Coach Lisa Keightley would be leaving the role she had done since early 2011 in order to return to coach in her native Australia.
What exactly will Keightley be doing Down Under? Her main role will be with the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA), heading up their Female Talent Development programme. While she will have work to do – the Western Fury have underperformed in previous seasons – she also has a great deal of talent at her disposal, with the squad having been strengthened this year by the addition of Australian openers Nicole Bolton and Elyse Villani.
But CRICKETher have learned that Cricket Australia will be harnessing Keightley’s talents at national level, too. Next month at the U15 Female National Championships in Hobart, she will be acting as a coach mentor for all State coaches involved in the set-up. Following on from that, she will be coaching the Cricket Australia XI in the U18 Female National Championships, to be held at Canberra in January: effectively the equivalent to her recently-vacated Loughborough role.
While England are therefore left seeking both a head coach and an Academy coach – with Keightley’s replacement not to be selected until the New Year at the earliest – it seems that England’s loss is, for the moment, Cricket Australia’s gain!