New Zouks owner tar­gets CPL suc­cess

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT -

LONDON (CMC): UNITED STATES-BASED real es­tate busi­ness­man Jig­nesh ‘Jay’ Pandya has bought the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) fran­chise St Lu­cia Zouks, tour­na­ment prin­ci­pals an­nounced re­cently.

Pandya is the founder of the Ro­han Group of com­pa­nies and also serves as chair­man of Global Sports Ven­tures, LLC, and Royal Sports Club, LLC.

Damien O’Dono­hoe, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the CPL, said the part­ner­ship was the re­sult of ex­tended dis­cus­sions with Pandya’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“Dis­cus­sions have been on­go­ing with Mr Pandya, and his rep­re­sen­ta­tives for many months and they have a clear vi­sion for the Zouks to el­e­vate them even higher for the sea­sons to come in terms of re­cruit­ment and in build­ing all as­pects of the fran­chise, from root to branch,” O’Dono­hoe said.

“Their pas­sion for the Hero CPL is ob­vi­ous, with their val­ues be­ing closely aligned to our own to strive to be an in­no­va­tive mar­ket leader, and I have no doubt that these are ex­cit­ing times to be a Zouks fan.”

Zouks is one of six fran­chises that com­prise the four-year-old CPL, branded by or­gan­is­ers as the ‘big­gest party in sport’.

Reign­ing cham­pi­ons Ja­maica Tallawahs, Bar­ba­dos Tri­dents, Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, Guyana Ama­zon War­riors, and St Kitts and Ne­vis Pa­tri­ots are the other five fran­chises in­volved in the Twenty20 ven­ture.

POOR PER­FORMER

Zouks, how­ever, have been one of the worse-per­form­ing sides in the tour­na­ment, but Pandya said he hoped his in­vest­ment would turn around the fran­chise’s for­tunes.

“Our aim is to help drive the Zouks for­ward to be­come the dom­i­nant team in the CPL by pro­duc­ing con­sis­tent re­sults that will en­able us to be ti­tle con­tenders in ev­ery edi­tion of CPL go­ing for­ward,” the Philadel­phia busi­ness­man said.

He added: “We are ex­tremely happy that the man­age­ment team, with Stu­art Wil­liams as our head coach and Dar­ren Sammy as our cap­tain, have com­mit­ted to re­main with the fran­chise and will con­tinue to lead it.

Dar­ren is a pas­sion­ate St Lu­cian who leads the side with great skill and charisma and is hugely re­spected in­ter­na­tion­ally, es­pe­cially af­ter guid­ing the West Indies to their sec­ond ICC World T20 ti­tle in In­dia ear­lier this year.

“Our ex­ec­u­tive direc­tors are work­ing closely with both Stu­art and Dar­ren in terms of player re­cruit­ment, the goal be­ing to be­come cham­pi­ons of the CPL af­ter miss­ing out last year in the play-offs.”

Zouks en­joyed their best-ever sea­son in this year’s cam­paign when they fin­ished third fol­low­ing the pre­lim­i­nar­ies be­fore be­ing knocked out in the play-offs. In this 2016 Caribbean Premier League photo, Zouks play­ers Gidron Pope (left), Shane Wat­son (cen­tre), and Delorn John­son cel­e­brate the wicket of Ku­mar Sangakkara dur­ing a match against the Ja­maica Tallawahs at Cen­tral Broward Sta­dium in Lauder­hill, Florida, United States of Amer­ica.

SUTHER­LAND

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