The ECB have confirmed the hosts for the 8 new Regional Centres of Excellence which will form the backbone of the new domestic structure in England and Wales.
As mooted by CRICKETher last October, the new teams will largely correspond to the previous 6 Kia Super League regions – with Surrey, Hampshire, Loughborough University, Lancashire and Yorkshire all acting as CoE “hosts”; while both Western Storm and Southern Vipers live on in an alternative guise. Both Storm (a partnership of Glamorgan CCC, Gloucestershire CCC and Somerset CCC) and Vipers have also registered as limited companies, reflecting the greater amount of autonomy granted to the CoEs compared to the KSL hosts.
Meanwhile the two “new” regional teams – London & East and West Midlands – will be hosted by Middlesex CCC and a partnership between Warwickshire & Worcestershire CCC respectively.
It is expected that the players selected for the new Centres will train and play at least some of their fixtures at the home grounds of the regional hosts, with the new domestic calendar therefore centring around Headingley, Old Trafford, New Road, Loughborough University, Taunton / Bristol, the Ageas Bowl, the Oval and Lord’s.
All 8 Regional Directors of Women’s Cricket are also now in place, with familiar faces Danni Warren (London & East), Richard Bedbrook (London & South East), Laura MacLeod (West Midlands) and Lisa Pagett (South West & Wales) joined by James Carr (North East), David Thorley (North West), Ian Read (East Midlands), and Adam Carty (South Central).
Carr previously worked at Cricket Scotland, while Carty had headed up Hampshire’s Boys’ Player Pathway; Thorley joins from England Boxing, and Read is the former Performance Programme Manager for Loughborough Sport.
The full list of hosts is as follows:
- North East – Yorkshire CCC
- North West – Lancashire CCC
- West Midlands – Warwickshire & Worcestershire CCC
- East Midlands – Loughborough University
- South West & Wales – Glamorgan CCC, Gloucestershire CCC and Somerset CCC (aka Western Storm Ltd)
- South Central – Hampshire CCC (aka Southern Vipers Ltd)
- London & South East – Surrey CCC
- London & East – Middlesex CCC