US businessman snaps up Zouks franchiseMonday, October 31, 2016
LONDON, England (CMC) — United States-based real estate businessman, Jignesh ‘Jay’ Pandya, has bought the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) franchise St Lucia Zouks, tournament principals announced yesterday.
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 had been 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.
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," said the Philadelphia-based businessman.
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."
Zouks enjoyed their best-ever season in this year’s campaign when they finished third following the preliminaries before being knocked out on the play-offs.
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