Samuels' Hawksbills dropped from CPL 2015
KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC):Antigua Hawksbills will not feature as a franchise for this year's Caribbean Premier League (CPL), the organisers announced yesterday.
This follows speculation in Caribbean media over the past week that the Hawksbills would not be part of the competition, especially after St Kitts and Nevis were awarded a franchise.
While no reason was given for Hawksbills' non-participation, a CPL release said organisers hoped to see the return of the St John-based franchise in the future.
"The St Kitts and Nevis team will take over responsibility for the players from the Leeward Islands and has been permitted to retain any player who played for the Antigua Hawksbills during the 2014 season," the CPL statement said.
"Whilst it is disappointing that the Antigua Hawksbills will not be part of CPL 2015, it is hoped that the team will return for future tournaments."
West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels was their marquee player. Last week, the Antigua Observer newspaper reported that Hawksbills was one of the teams likely to be dropped, in order to accommodate the new St Kitts franchise.
"What we've been told really by the CPL (is) that there have been a number of franchises that do not have owners and are being supported by CPL and so they're looking to unload one of those franchises," the Observer quoted St Kitts Sports Minister Glenn Phillips as saying.
Hawksbills had a miserable season last year, winning just one of their nine games to finish bottom of the standings with two points at the end of the preliminary round.
They also struggled in the opening season in 2013, finishing second from bottom on four points after managing just two wins in seven games.
St Kitts staged a number of CPL games for the first time last year, including the semi-finals and final.