Ahead of the first Limacol Caribbean Premier League to be played in St Lucia, coaches and captains of the Antigua Hawksbills and the hometown Zouks came together at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort to meet the media and breakdown the experience thus far. It was a melding of legends and their heirs apparent as the Hawksbill’s Sir Vivian Richards and Marlon Samuels exchanged playful barbs with their Zouks counterparts Andy Roberts and Darren Sammy.
Sammy and company were teeming with excitement fresh off their thrilling victory against the Guyana Amazon Warriors. However, the captain admitted that there were still parts of their game that could use some tweaking.
“Well you know any cricket game you play after you assess and you review the match you come up with areas which you need to improve and I think no team has ever played a perfect cricket game. There’s always areas to improve and we as a team always do that.”
Sammy shared that the chance to play with a mix of Caribbean and International players was an invaluable one which should not be taken for granted.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for our local guys especially those who have not played international cricket to learn a lot, not only from the international players but from coaches like Sir Viv and Mr Roberts. There’s a lot of experience here and I’ve advised them to pick their brains.”
Also in attendance was the Zouks’ new CEO Fayyaz Alimohamed. Just before the opening match in Barbados, it was announced that the team had been acquired by Singapore based company International Sports Holding Limited (ISH). Alimohamed was effusive in his praise for the tournament and his new franchise.
“I think we’ve had an exciting beginning to the tournament. I think we have the potential to make this Limacol CPL Tournament a premier global event drawing large audiences around the world. We have a wonderful team. We are very proud to be associated with the Zouks, led by a special leader in Darren Sammy and coaches Andy Roberts and Matthew Maynard.”
Alimohamed continued, “I want St Lucian fans to come out and show Guyana how we celebrate cricket and that will be wonderful to see. We’re looking forward to sellout crowds and we’re very excited. The other thing about the Zouks that I’d like to mention is that we are a very cool team. I think we have a song, ‘The Zouks on Fire’ and I think we have a website that really everyone should check out stluciazouks.com, and we expect a very keen contest. There is no forecast for rain but with due respect to Sir Vivian and to Marlon there is an outside chance of a ‘zoukerization’.”
Director of Tourism Louis Lewis was on hand to pledge the St Lucia Tourist Board’s support for the highly anticipated event.
“The St Lucia Tourist Board is very pleased to partner with the CPL on this very innovative and what we consider to be very exciting tournament. As the agency responsible for marketing St Lucia we are constantly looking for new
and innovative ways to showcase St Lucian talent and when we see at least
what has happened for the past few matches, it is exactly what we anticipated the CPL would have brought to the region. And we are very excited that this is just another way we can differentiate ourselves and give some visibility to the destination.”
With massive crowds in the first few matches, St Lucia is gearing up for a great series this week. Samuels put it best with a simple statement.
“I’ve played around the world but there’s nothing like the Caribbean fans.”