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By Neto Baptiste

Antiguan spin-bowler, Rahkeem Cornwall, has labelled the inclusion of veteran player and Jamaican Chris Gayle on the St Lucia Zouks’ roster ahead of this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) a plus for the franchise but has warned that all players must do their part if the team is to find the level of success they desire.

“Everybody knows what Chris Gayle brings to the table. It is always good to have a calibre of player like that in your franchise so that you can feed off him and learn from the experience that he has, but the other part of the team must still do their part and make sure that whatever Chris Gayle brings to the table we have addition so we could reach further in the tournament,” he said. 

In late April, news broke that the hard-hitting batsman had been released by the Jamaica Tallawahs and that he is headed for the Zouks franchise.

Both Cornwall and Gayle were named amongst eight players signed or retained by the franchise this week.

Cornwall said he expected to be back with the Zouks outfit following a successful 2019 with the bat where he emerged as the team’s top runs getter, scoring a total of 254 runs in 10 innings.

“I expected to be back after my performance last season where I scored the most runs for St Lucia. I am happy to be back at the franchise because it is a good team, other than we have just been unlucky not to have gotten the results that we need. But hopefully this year, if cricket does play, then we can change things. The CPL has always been a good summer tournament where you get to showcase your skills to see if you can get other leagues around the world to participate in,” he said.

The off-break spin-bowler said the break has allowed him to fully recuperate following surgery earlier this year.

“I am doing a little bit of training, but in terms of cricket wise [playing] I’ve had only one practice take just to see how it feels to get back [on my feet] but other than that there has been no cricket whatsoever. I can’t get into any gyms because they are closed but I have my weights that I utilize at home so I use that for now,” he said.

Apart from Cornwall and Gayle, St Lucia Zouks also announced the signing of team captain Darren Sammy, opener Andre Fletcher, Kesrick Wiliams, pace bowler Obed McKoy, Kavem Hodge and emerging player Kimani Melius, who captained the West Indies U19 team to the ICC World Cup. The CPL is scheduled to take place between August 19 and September 26.

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