The Cape Cobras have formally been renamed Western Province, ahead of South Africa’s new domestic cricket structure, which will revert to top-tier provincial rather than franchise competition later this year.
Western Province have been placed in the first division alongside six other teams, including Western Cape neighbours Boland.
“When the new domestic structure was announced, we took all the feedback we received from a number of stakeholders on board and the overwhelming sentiment was there was an emotional connection to the Western Province name,” said WPCA brand and sponsorship manager David Brooke.
“It is a brand all our diverse cultures could connect with and to bring it back for our new professional team will hopefully attract the older generation back to Newlands and usher in a new generation of supporters to create new memories.”
Free State have retained the Knights name, while KwaZulu-Natal Inland – in the second division – will be known as the Tuskers.
WP Blitz in T20 competition
The Cape Town Blitz, meanwhile, will transition to the Western Province Blitz for South Africa’s premier domestic T20 tournament, which was the Mzansi Super League but that name hasn’t necessarily been retained.
“Additionally, the feedback we received also included the view that there was undoubtedly a place for the Blitz brand, which we had built up huge brand equity with during the two years of the Mzansi Super League,” added Brooke.
“It was important to build on that momentum we started with on that brand for the premier T20 competition. Therefore, we will be playing as the Western Province Blitz during the Mzansi T20, which means the WP brand will flow throughout all our domestic competitions.”
Western Province batsman Zubayr Hamza concluded: “We all know that people in Cape Town have an emotional attachment to the WP sports brand.
“With the new structure in place from this season, we have a huge responsibility as a group of players to appreciate those great cricketers who have come before us and to continue that legacy of success.
“We hope that we will be able to play in front of our supporters this season, in particular the Blitz brigade, which I know will be out in full force during the Mzansi T20 competition.”