Will St Lucia Zouks find good fortune in CPL 2020?
Corlette’s CPL teams review…
By Brandon Corlette
The Daren Sammy-led St Lucia Zouks in recent times have looked a strong unit on paper, but they have not yet produced the goods in the history of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Zouks, who carried the name St Lucia Stars in the past, have had a good leader but the wins have been unfamiliar.
This year, the team look solid on paper with Sammy leading the charge with Afghanistan T20 specialist Mohammad Nabi; one of the leading CPL batsmen, Andre Fletcher; Kesrick Williams; West Indies Test spinner Rahkeem Cornwall and Roston Chase. The 2020 Zouks squad is also equipped with some young guns in fast bowlers Chemar Holder and Obed McCoy. Zouks’ international players are Scott Kuggeleijn, Saad Bin Zafar, Najibullah Zadran and Afghanistan’s Zahir Khan.
Sammy, a great leader
For many reasons, Sammy has not reaped the positive results in CPL as he did in leading the West Indies to two T20 World Cups. Zouks’ most successful year came in 2016 when they won six matches, but in their last two CPL seasons (2018 and 2019), the team recorded only three wins.
Sammy, who played 62 matches for Zouks, scored 856 runs and grabbed 23 wickets. An explosive all-rounder, Sammy was the first cricketer from St Lucia to be named West Indies Captain in 2010 and led the Windies to their first world title since 1979 in the World Twenty20 in 2012 and repeated the feat in 2016. A right-handed batsman and fast-medium bowler, Sammy is a fine exponent of T20 cricket.
His most impressive CPL season came in 2016 when he scored 212 runs at an average of 42.4 and picked up eight wickets in that season.
Fletcher is right up there with the best in the CPL. After 66 matches, he has 1870 runs at an average of 31 with 11 fifties to his name. Over the years, Fletcher has been a consistent performer. In the 2013 season, he scored 238 runs, but his most prolific season came in 2015 when he racked up 369 runs. His most recent CPL saw him scoring only 184 runs, but his experience has handed him a spot for the 2020 CPL with the Zouks.
In addition to Sammy and Fletcher, Kesrick Williams is another big gun in the T20 format. In the CPL, Williams has 53 wickets in 39 matches and has featured in the West Indies T20 teams in recent times. His exploits will also be essential for Zouks to do well in this 2020 CPL.
The experienced Nabi has been a T20 globe trotter. He has played 258 matches and has 3951 runs and 255 wickets with his tight off-spin. His experience and skill will be invaluable to the Zouks as well as his team-mate Najibullah Zadran’s. The New Zealander Kuggeleijn, who played 12 T20s for New Zealand, is expected to lead the pace attack with the likes of Holder and McCoy in the set-up.
The Zouks have invested in young blood. West Indies Under-19 Captain Kimani Melius is in the squad along with young Trinidadian Mark Deyal, Jamaican Javelle Glen, Kaveem Hodge and Barbados’s Leniko Boucher. With Chris Gayle opting out of the CPL and South Africa’s Rilee Rossouw missing out, a new star will have to rise for the Zouks.
Zouks squad: Roston Chase, Mohammad Nabi, Daren Sammy, Andre Fletcher, Najibullah Zadran, Kesrick Williams, Scott Kuggeleijn, Chemar Holder, Obed McCoy, Rahkeem Cornwall, Mark Deyal, Zahir Khan, Kimani Melius, Leniko Boucher, Kavem Hodge, Javelle Glen, and Saad Bin Zafar