Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Ireland cricketers set to travel for Caribbean challenge

England's Graeme Swann has apologised for comments made on social media
England's Graeme Swann has apologised for comments made on social media

IRELAND will play Guyana, Jamaica and the Windward Islands in the space of nine days when they take part as guests of the West Indies Cricket Board in their Regional Super 50 tournament early next year.

Cricket Ireland revealed their schedule of matches yesterday with all the games day/night clashes at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad, which is the hosting the annual eight-team tournament.

Ireland will play in Group A, with their opening match against Guyana on Friday, January 31 followed by games against the Windward Islands, which include Grenada and St Lucia, three days later and then Jamaica on Saturday, February 8.

The top two in each group – Trinidad, Barbados, the Leeward Islands, which includes Antigua, and a Combined Colleges and Campus (CCC) team are in the other – meet in the semi-finals, although there are play-off games for the sides finishing third and fourth. The Ireland squad will head out on January 23.

Meanwhile, Graeme Swann made a personal decision to apologise for his "crass and thoughtless" rape reference.

Swann's comment on his brother and former Northamptonshire team-mate Alec's Facebook page has been heavily criticised by the chief executive of the charity Rape Crisis, who urged him to apologise.

He told his brother, and mutual friends, that he would rather have been back home in the midlands at a pop concert than "being a***-raped in Perth" by Australia.

The page, however, has a public profile and is therefore openly accessible to anyone.

Within hours, Swann duly apologised via Twitter.

"Sorry to anyone who was offended by my comments in the papers today," he wrote.

"(They were) crass and thoughtless of me in the extreme."

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