Eoin Morgan, the England limited-overs captain, has credited Andrew Strauss, the outgoing Director of Cricket, for the team’s steady rise in white-ball formats.
Strauss took up his role after the team’s poor performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, when they were knocked out in the group stage. Since then, England have overhauled their team and attitude to rise to No.1 on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings, shattering batting records in the one-day international game along the way.
Going into the World Cup 2019 at home, they are seen as one of the favourites to win the title. Morgan and his men, however, will have to do it without Strauss in charge, as the former England captain stepped down from a full-time role on Wednesday, 3 October, for family reasons.
Speaking in Sri Lanka, where the team are on tour, Morgan said Strauss would be “missed”. "He's been at the forefront of [the team’s resurgence]. He was incredibly instrumental in our forward thinking and planning to get to the position we are in at the moment," said Morgan.
"Going back to the start of the summer of 2015, the direction given by him to myself and Paul Farbrace, who was interim coach at the time, and all the selectors was to build something to prepare for the 2019 World Cup.
The absolute clarity and direction he wanted us to go in was quite a big deal.
"Without that direction, we wouldn't haven't been allowed the freedom to play in that manner, because we could plan four years ahead. The absolute clarity and direction he wanted us to go in was quite a big deal.
"He will be missed because we're coming towards the end of the cycle that he was at the very beginning of."
Trevor Bayliss, who was brought in by Strauss as coach, said it would be a “big hole to fill”. “I think he'd be probably embarrassed if we came out and said 'the boys want to do it for him'. But we all understand the reasons why he's had to step away,” Bayliss said.
"He's given the management and the coaching staff the confidence to go on and get the job done."
England play a five-match ODI series before taking on the hosts for one Twenty20 International and three Tests.