(Reuters) - Former England captain Andrew Strauss has stepped down from his position as director of cricket and will take up a more flexible role with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the 41-year-old announced on Wednesday.
Strauss’s resignation comes four months after he stepped back from the position to support his wife Ruth in her fight against cancer.
Andy Flower, who replaced Strauss temporarily, will continue in his interim capacity until December before the ECB announces a permanent replacement.
“After three-and-a-half incredible years with the ECB, I have taken the difficult decision to step down from my role as director of England cricket,” Strauss said in a statement.
England host the 50-over World Cup next year as well as the Ashes series against Australia, and Strauss said his successor would play a vital role in that period.
“Next year is potentially the most important the game has had in this country, with the World Cup on home soil and a home Ashes series, and we have an incredible opportunity to do something special,” Strauss added.
“It’s vital that the director of cricket can give consistent guidance and support to England Cricket through this period.”
ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison thanked Strauss for his contribution.
“He deserves huge respect for the way he has managed his role, fully supported Ruth and their boys and calmly considered this decision. And it’s hard to overestimate his contribution since joining us in May 2015,” Harrison said.
“But whilst Andrew leaves the post he is not lost to the ECB. He is uniquely placed to help us define the role and help recruit the right person to build on his exceptional work.”
England sealed a 4-1 home test series win over top-ranked India last month. They play five one-dayers and a Twenty20 International in Sri Lanka this month before the three-test series gets underway on Nov. 6 in Galle.
The team will then travel to the West Indies early next year.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Jon Boyle and Clare Fallon