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Seven teams are just too much for the Caribbean Premier League at this time. According to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the CPL, that is the reason the Antigua Hawksbills will not be a part of the third edition of the Digicel-run Twenty20 tournament this year.

Yesterday, COO Pete Russell told the Express that with St Kitts and Nevis acquiring a new franchise, the League could not still accommodate the Hawksbills.

"We haven’t terminated the (Antigua) franchise,” he said. “The rationale behind it is we have a window which the WICB gave us within which we have to play all the games. It’s impossible with the window for us to play more than six teams.”

This year’s competition is scheduled to take place from June 21 to July 26. And Russell said fitting in a seventh team would be extra difficult because of the expanded playing schedule in 2015.

“Each team will play ten games,” Russell said yesterday. “That’s the first time that’s happening. Each team will play each other twice. In our view, the format is as it should be, We couldn’t fit seven teams into the format.”

Tilting the balance away from Antigua, Russell also explained was the lack of an owner for the Antigua franchise which had been sponsored by Virgin Atlantic over the first two seasons.

“The reason for doing what we’ve done, we got to make sure of the long-term sustainability of the league. The sustainability of the team is ensured by each team having its own owner.”

Russell said the government of Antigua and Barbuda where the Hawksbills were based had been aware that the island could lose the team.
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