West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has left the Jamaica Tallawahs for the St Lucia Zouks ahead of this year's Caribbean Premier League.
The Zouks are owned by KPH Dream Cricket Private Limited, who also have the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League. Gayle plays for the KXIP in the IPL.
“This is great news for St Lucia Zouks and for me as a captain to have the ‘Universe Boss' on my side. Chris is one of the most successful T20 batsmen in the world and with his experience with our young openers, a lot can be learnt from Chris,” said Zouks captain Daren Sammy.
Whether the 2020 CPL goes ahead as scheduled remains in the balance. The tournament is due to be played from 19 August to 26 September, but might be subjected to delays amid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic around the world.
“I welcome him to the Zouks franchise. Chris will be in St Lucia and the fans will be happy that Jamaica has released him. I will have a motivated Chris looking to prove a point that he is one of the leading T20 batsmen in the world. I can't wait for CPL 2020 and hopefully the coronavirus will be under control and we can have an exciting T20 tournament,” added Sammy.
St Lucia Zouks' new coach
Former England head coach Andy Flower has been appointed coach of the Zouks. He also coaches Punjab in the IPL. The franchise has had several players from overseas in the past, including South Africa's Colin Ingram, New Zealand's Colin de Grandhomme, Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga and Thisara Perera. The Zouks have never won the CPL, but occupied fourth position in 2016 and fifth last year.
“It's brilliant news that we have been able to get Gayle with us at this year's CPL 2020. I have got a long association with Chris running all the way back to his debut Test match in Trinidad back in 2000. I've seen his exploits in all three forms of the game and I am really looking forward to working with him and Sammy toward a special year for St Lucia cricket,” said Flower.