Kent Cricket’s new Chief Executive Officer is looking forward to the 2019 season and beyond.
Simon Storey joined the club from Derbyshire County Cricket Club on the 2nd of January this year and is relocating to Kent with his wife and three children.
Q: What attracted you to the role?
The opportunity to lead Kent Cricket into a new era at an exciting time for cricket. With the new broadcast deal in place from 2020-2024 and ECB’s ‘Inspiring Generations’ strategy for 2020-2024 having now been officially unveiled, the club is really well placed to make the most of the new investment funding outlined in the ECB’s new strategy.
The new ECB vision is to make cricket a game for everyone; a game that inspires and unites communities. Kent Cricket is already at the heart of the local community and the Club can trace it’s history back 150 years and beyond. We already have responsibility for both community and professional cricket which means we can take a joined up approach to growing the game across the county.
I have strong family connections here in Kent, so I am fortunate to be aware of the history and the role that cricket plays as a flagship sport for the county. It is a real privilege to be able to lead Kent Cricket towards an exciting future.
Q: What impresses you most about Kent Cricket?
The club’s on-field momentum and success last season puts us in a great position going into 2019. Kent Cricket’s success has been noted and warmly welcomed across the country and there are a lot of people with an affinity to Kent watching on with interest in our fortunes. We will be doing our best to encourage them all to come and support their county both at home and on the road.
I’m very impressed with the work that Director of Cricket Paul Downton, Head Coach Matt Walker, Captain Sam Billings and the rest of the cricket management team have done to raise standards here, which has underpinned our success.
We now have the opportunity now to raise standards across the club in every aspect of our business. We want to give people a terrific experience every time they come to watch Kent Cricket play and make them want to come back again and again – whether that be our members, supporters, players, officials or schools.
There is a great team of committed people on and off the field and we have some strong foundations that we will build on, but we also have some significant challenges to address. Most importantly, we need to focus on making the facilities and overall experience at Canterbury, Beckenham and Tunbridge Wells as enjoyable and safe as possible.
This applies to our match day and non-match day experience where expectations around parking, toilets, food and drink and customer service are rising all the time.
Some of these improvements will take time, hard work and investment, but we know that a good experience starts with a warm welcome, a smile and an approach that says we care and we want everyone to feel that they belong at Kent Cricket.
Q: What can Kent supporters expect to see in the coming months?
Everyone at Kent Cricket is looking to maintain the momentum and build on the recent success and the strong foundations.
We’re going into the season with lots of optimism whilst still realising the big challenges facing us with Division One Specsavers County Championship cricket.
However, the hard work in the close season by the coaches, players and support staff puts us in a great position to cement ourselves at the right end of the table at the end of the season.
We are also keen to continue to chase white ball success and whilst IPL and ICC World Cup schedules will create challenges for all counties this season, we remain confident in our ability to compete with the best.
Q: Are there any big plans for the future?
I’m privileged to take up this new role at this exciting time for cricket. The ECB’s ‘Inspiring Generations’ strategy has provided the first view of the additional money attached to the new broadcast deal and all 18 first-class counties are now starting to work on what cricket will look like in their respective areas at the end of this latest broadcast cycle in 2024.
We need to ensure that the strategy for Kent Cricket is an exciting and attractive one that makes cricket a game for everyone in this county and we need to do everything possible to sustain Kent Cricket as a top 10 club in the first-class county structure in the long term.
We also need to open up the Club to the new priority opportunities around women and girls cricket and community cricket. This will include developing a broader vision for Kent Cricket and ensuring that we develop long term masterplans for both our permanent venues at Beckenham and Canterbury, to underpin the role and purpose they have in growing the game.
It’s important to hold on to our ambition to win trophies across all three formats to make the people of Kent proud of their team, and to deliver on our vision of inspiring generations.