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Caribbean Premier League moves to replace St Lucia franchise

The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 cricket franchise has announced that the St Lucia Zouks will replace the St Lucia Stars franchise for the 2019 season following the termination of a participation agreement with the latter.

The Zouks will play matches in St Lucia and across the Caribbean during this year’s competition, which runs from September 4 to October 12.

‘Zouks’ was the name given to the original St Lucia CPL franchise, which was founded in 2013. The Stars then replaced the Zouks in 2016.

The CPL did not disclose why it terminated its participation agreement with Royal Sports Club, which had operated the Stars. Royal Sports Club chief executive and owner Jay Pandya has hit out at the move and vowed to fight the decision.

Pandya told the ESPNcricinfo website: “CPL Limited has absolutely no basis, legal or otherwise, to terminate our contractual rights to operate St Lucia Stars. We vehemently dispute CPL’s decision and will use all means necessary to vindicate our rights. This is an attempt to bully us, plain and simple. We are confident in our position and look forward to securing justice against CPL’s blatantly illegal act in the appropriate court of law.”

The Zouks’ 2019 campaign begins against Guyana Amazon Warriors on September 5. The team will play 10 group games in total.