The recent appointment of Lisa Keightley as the head coach of the England Women cricket team means that new ground has been broken by this team. Who is she and what is so important about her move into this role?
Who Is Lisa Keightley?
48-year old Keightley is a former Australia international cricket player. She was born in Mudgee, New South Wales and went on to have a successful career spanning 9 tests and over 80 one day internationals for Australia. She played a right-handed batswoman and was also employed at times as a medium pace bowler.
Among the most impressive moments in her career, she became the first woman to score a century in a one day international at Lord’s. This came in 1998 when she hit 113 from 143 deliveries to help Australia to a 5-0 series whitewash against England. Overall, she made a total of 4 centuries in international matches over the years that she represented Australia.
Another memorable inning saw her hit the largest maiden century in the history of Women’s one-day internationals, as she racked up 156 not out against Pakistan Women in 1997. This record was only taken away from her fairly recently, with 17-year old Amelia Kerr of New Zealand now holding this title after scoring 232 not out against Ireland in 2018.
Probably the highlight of her international career came in 2005 when Australia won the ICC Cricket World Cup. Keightley scored one of the three centuries made in the tournament, as her country beat India by 98 runs in the final. She ended her playing career with an impressive total of 2,630 one day international runs for her country.
At the moment, she is still working as a coach at the Perth Scorchers, where she will stay until the Women’s Big Bash League ends in January. Her past roles also include a spell working as the head coach of the England women’s academy, where she was employed from 2011 until 2015.
What Is Her Role?
She will start in her new role as head coach of the England Woman cricket team at the start of 2020. This is a historic move as she will be the first woman to take on this position on a full-time basis. At the moment, Alastair Maiden is in charge of this team on an interim basis and will continue there until Keightley is free to take up the post.
When asked about her thoughts on the future, Keightley said that she is “massively excited” and called this a huge opportunity. She pointed out that the team is “full of world-class players” and that she can’t wait to get started with them.
This appointment means that she will no longer take up the role of women’s head coach for the London Spirit in the Hundred next year, as she had been expected to. Instead, she will head to England in January to start this new challenge.
England currently has a strong side that is currently the reigning 50-over world champions. They also got to the final of the previous ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. If you like to bet on sports, such as the NBA or NFL, then you might be tempted to place a wager too on this English team.
The England and Wales Cricket Board believe that Keightley is the right person to keep the team progressing in the right direction. Clare Connor is the managing director of women’s cricket. She said that she is “excited about the progress our sport continues to make” and believes that they have chosen the right head coach for the future.
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