Andrew Strauss will leave one of English cricket’s top jobs having paved the way for World Cup glory next summer, according to one-day captain Eoin Morgan and head coach Trevor Bayliss.

Strauss announced on Wednesday he would not be returning to work as the national side’s director of cricket, having been on compassionate leave for the past four months.

His wife Ruth was diagnosed with cancer in December 2017 and the former Test captain has concluded he cannot balance his family’s needs alongside the day-to-day demands of his high-powered job.

Next summer sees England host both their first World Cup in 20 years and an Ashes series and the 41-year-old does not feel able to devote the necessary energy to the task.

Although he is exiting the stage earlier than hoped, having been charged with landing the country’s first major 50-over trophy when he took the job three-and-a-half years ago, there is no doubt about the impact he has had.

Strauss took the job in the aftermath of a World Cup fiasco in 2015 and oversaw sweeping changes that have helped transform England into the top-ranked side on the planet in a format which once served solely to expose their frailties.

That they go into this month’s five-match series against Sri Lanka as world number ones is down to positive coaching and skilful cricket but also Strauss’ early vision for the side.

Cricket – 2013/2014 Ashes – End of Series PackageAndy Flower has been standing in for Strauss while he took a break from the England director of cricket role (Anthony Devlin/PA Images).

“He’s been at the forefront of it, he was incredibly instrumental in our forward thinking and planning to the position we are in at the moment,” said Morgan at a series launch in Colombo.

“It’s easily brushed over but going back to the summer of 2015 the direction given by him to myself and Paul Farbrace – who was interim coach at time – and all the selectors was to build something to prepare for the 2019 World Cup.

“Without that direction we wouldn’t haven been allowed the freedom to play in that manner, to know we could plan four years ahead.

“The absolute clarity and direction he wanted us to go 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.”

Cricket – 2012 Investec Test Series – Third Test – England v South Africa – Day Five – Lord’sAndrew Strauss during his tenure as England captain (Nigel French/PA Images).

If Peter Moores’ sacking was the most obvious of Strauss’ big decisions, and closing the door on Kevin Pietersen’s comeback the most contentious, the appointment of Bayliss was perhaps the most unexpected. If England make history at the Lord’s final next July, it will go down as an inspired one.

“I think he’d be probably be embarrassed if we came out and said ‘the boys want to do it for him’,” said the Australian.

“But we all understand the reasons why he’s had to step away, we fully understand that and appreciate the struggles his family has in front of him. I’d just like to say he’s done a fantastic job.

“It could be a big hole to fill. He’s very much a silent partner in all of this. Andrew has been very helpful behind the scenes. He’s given the management and the coaching staff the confidence to go on and get the job done.”

England Test Squad Announcement – Lord’sAndrew Strauss oversaw the revamping of England selection led by national selector Ed Smith (John Walton/PA Images).

Former England coach Andy Flower will continue to deputise for Strauss in an interim capacity until December, when a permanent appointment is expected.

Explaining his decision, Strauss said in a statement: “Taking time out this summer to support my wife and kids, as Ruth goes through treatment for cancer, has given me the chance to fully consider what’s right for England and what’s needed at home.

“Right now I need far more flexibility than could ever be possible in my position in order to support my family. 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.

“It is vital that the director of cricket can give consistent guidance and support to England cricket through this period.”