The St. Lucia Zouks have announced their fixtures for the forthcoming 2016 HERO Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign and will open the home series of matches with an evening clash against St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots on Thursday, 21 July.
The Zouks, who will once again include West Indies captain Darren Sammy, fellow world champion Johnson Charles as well as another local favourite Keddy Lesporis, will also feature Australia duo Michael Hussey and the world’s leading international ranked all-rounder Shane Watson.
The Australian stars will join South Africa pair David Miller and Morne Morkel, while ICC Under-19 World Cup winning off-spinning all-rounder Gidron Pope is also included.
The St. Lucia based side will be coached by Stuart Williams, who was part of the West Indies backroom team that lifted the ICC World Twenty20 in India recently, while Caribbean great Sir Andy Roberts and former England, India and Sri Lanka Assistant Coach Trevor Penney will also feature in the support staff.
The Zouks will take on four opponents in a combination of day and night time games in a big month for the island with the hugely popular Lucian Carnival set to attract big numbers to the island once more.
The opening match against the Patriots is sure to attract a large following and is one not to be missed as it will mark the launch of the newly re-named 12,400 capacity Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, previously known as the Beauséjour Stadium.
Fans will also get to be a part of history for the opening of the newly-renamed Johnson Charles Stand.
Welcoming the return of CPL to his native St. Lucia, Darren Sammy said: “I am hugely excited by the opportunity to lead the Zouks once more this year. We have assembled our strongest squad of players to date and we will aim to be competitive this season. It’s encouraging to see such a blend of youth and experience and I have no doubt that the team is best-placed to reach the play-offs.
“Of course, I will be hugely honoured to step out at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium and it will be a special moment for me and my family when we take on the Patriots in that opening game. I have a lot of happy memories playing in Beauséjour Stadium and hopefully this will mark a new and exciting era for St. Lucia. The fans who travel will really enjoy their time there. They will really savour the hospitality off the field, so if fans come for the Carnival, they can stay to see top quality cricket. On the field we’ll be gunning for points and to put on a show for our home support.
“There’s a lot of excitement across the island already and this will be a crucial leg of matches before we move on to the back-to-back games against Jamaica Tallawahs in Fort Lauderdale the following week. We’ll be ready and motivated to position ourselves for the crucial final few weeks of the CPL.”
The remaining fixtures will be confirmed over the next week and tickets for all confirmed fixtures in the Caribbean and Fort Lauderdale are on sale now from www.cplt20.com.
St. Lucia Zouks Fixtures (all times local): 21 July – St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots (6pm), 23 July – Barbados Tridents (12 Midday), 24 July – Guyana Amazon Warriors (5pm), 26 July – Trinbago Knight Riders (6pm).