On 9th March 2015, England were knocked out of the World Cup with a 15-run defeat by Bangladesh, having won just two of their six group games. It was their third exit at the group stages in the past five tournaments.
Four years later, on a glorious July evening in London, Eoin Morgan lifted the World Cup trophy after, arguably, the most extraordinary game in the history of world cricket. We’ve witnessed a stunning transformation and much of the subsequent coverage and glory has quite rightly focused on the heroes on the pitch and the roles each of them played in the triumph. But what has been the impact of those behind the scenes in this formidable transformation? As a governing body in sport, blame for defeat often rests on your shoulders and victories attributed to the brilliance of those on the pitch. In the case of England Cricket, there are some notable and influential contributions beyond the playing squad.
The architect of the victory was, in very many ways, Andrew Strauss. When Strauss took on the role of Director of Cricket in early 2015, he was not a candidate who would have met all the criteria of the job description. His administrative experience was non-existent, as were his governing body credentials. His people management experience was limited to the England and Middlesex dressing rooms. However, what he did offer was superb cricketing credibil- ity, a strategic mindset and a real passion for making the England cricket team the best in the world. Beyond that, he is a first-class communicator with tremendous resilience and bravery with difficult decisions.