Jon Lewis to leave WPL after group stage to join up with England Women

NICK FRIEND: Lewis will leave assistant coach Ashley Noffke in charge of UP Warriorz, should they reach the knockout phase


England Women's head coach Jon Lewis will leave the Women's Premier League at the end of the group stage to join up with his national side.

As The Cricketer reported last week, Lewis – who is contracted as UP Warriorz head coach – will meet up with his England squad in New Zealand on March 12, almost a fortnight after the group arrives in the country but a week before the first match of an eight-game tour. His franchise's final group fixture is on March 11.

Lewis will leave assistant coach Ashley Noffke in charge of UP Warriorz, should they reach the knockout phase. Noffke is an established head coach in his own right, having led Brisbane Heat in the Women's Big Bash and London Spirit's women's team in The Hundred.

"I had good discussions with the franchise there," said Lewis. "They're really open to me starting off, getting everything up and running and getting through to the group stage. Hopefully, we've got one game after that and by the time we get to that point I'm pretty sure the players will have had enough of me talking to them and they'll be able to get off and do it on their own.

"Hopefully we're in a really strong position, we've got a really experienced captain in Alyssa Healy and some really experienced assistant coach in Ashley Noffke, who's an experienced head coach. We've got lots of cover in the coaching department and UP have been really accommodating, actually."

Among those being left behind when Lewis departs is Sophie Ecclestone, a key player for England. She will miss the first three T20Is of the series in New Zealand – along with Alice Capsey, Danni Wyatt and Nat Sciver-Brunt – as part of compromise arrangements between the ECB and players involved in the WPL, recognising what is hoped to be a one-off schedule clash.


Jon Lewis will leave UP Warriorz after the group stage to join up with England (Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

Heather Knight and Lauren Bell both withdrew beforehand, while neither Kate Cross nor Issy Wong are in England's T20I squad.

"It's quite a unique situation," added Lewis. "For me, I felt like the period before March 12 is very much an individualised preparation period and then a week before the start of the first game, we get into what I would suggest is the more team-focused stuff. I've got some really skilled coaches who can take over when I'm not around."

Lewis put the clash down to the late release of the WPL schedule, well after England's tour of New Zealand had been confirmed and rubberstamped.

"We explored every option available to us to make sure all our players were available during the New Zealand series, but that didn't quite work out as we would have liked," he said.

"Yes, there are things that other boards could have done, but they're things that are totally out of our control, to be honest. We've had to react to the situation as best we can.

"The series was in our diary for a very long period of time. The WPL dates came out very late. Moving forward, all the boards around the world will create a window for the WPL similar to the men's game."

Related Topics


THE CRICKETER NEWSLETTER Get all the latest cricket news to your inbox, twice a week SIGN UP

Thank You! Thank you for subscribing!





Units 7-8, 35-37 High St, Barrow upon Soar, Loughborough, LE128PY

Welcome to - the online home of the world’s oldest cricket magazine. Breaking news, interviews, opinion and cricket goodness from every corner of our beautiful sport, from village green to national arena.