As first mooted by CRICKETher back in October, it has been confirmed that the Kia Super League’s “Western Storm” will live on, becoming the name of the new South West & Wales Centre of Excellence who will field women’s teams in both 50-over and 20-over domestic cricket as of 2021.
The job advert [MS Word] for the South West’s new Regional Director of Women’s Cricket, who will work across Wales, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Devon and Cornwall, states that the jobholder will be employed by the “Western Storm Board of Directors”, with Western Storm now registered as an official limited company with HMRC.
The web page accompanying the job advert states:
“Following on from four successful years in the Kia Super League, Western Storm has proudly become a household name across the South West. With existing strong links across the region, Western Storm has left an excellent legacy of programmes encouraging participation and support for women’s and girl’s cricket.
Five counties (Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire) in the South West, and Wales have joined forces to lead the way in collaborative working for the greater benefit of performance and recreational cricket across our vast region.
With Western Storm’s existing legacy and the ECB’s new wider game strategy to Transform Women’s and Girls Cricket, this key appointment represents a substantial and exciting opportunity to play your part in both continuing and driving female cricket forward across our region.”
The new Centres of Excellence are due to launch shortly, acting as a replacement for the women’s senior county structure, with CoE sides to play against each other in September in a 50-over competition which replaces the Women’s County Championship. As of 2021, the CoEs will also compete in a 20-over competition. The Centres will serve as the base for the 40 new professionally-contracted domestic players and are a cornerstone of the ECB’s new Women and Girls’ Strategy.
It remains to be seen whether other Centres will follow in Western Storm’s footsteps and also adopt the name of their corresponding Kia Super League side. Nonetheless, if Western Storm can live on in a new guise, there seems no reason why Southern Vipers, Loughborough Lightning and the rest can’t do the same.