Belfast Telegraph

Cricket World Cup: Ireland forced to pay for broken door

By Ian Callender

Team Ireland have been caught up in a second dressing room incident in the aftermath of their World Cup defeat to India last Sunday.

First, Niall O’Brien’s cricket bag, containing six bats, failed to arrive back at the team hotel for transportation to Ireland’s base this week in Chandigarh. Yesterday, it transpired that one of the doors in the Ireland changing room was damaged.

Cricket Ireland have sent the local state cricket association 23,000 rupees (£310) to cover the cost of the damage which is understood to have happened when a door was pushed outwards instead of in and, as a result, the bottom hinge was broken.

Cricket Ireland have not named the player involved but it is understood it was an accident.

The fall-out from O’Brien’s missing bats has brought a generous intervention from Yuvraj Singh, the man of the match in India’s five wickets win over Ireland in Bangalore.

Yuvraj yesterday offered the Northamptonshire county professional two bats and “any assistance” as he prepares for Ireland’s must-win game against the West Indies on Friday.

“It is a wonderful gesture from Yuvraj and I’m very grateful. However, I am confident that the bats will arrive from my sponsor in time for Friday,” said O’Brien yesterday.

Gray Nicolls, the sponsor, have a factory just two hours from Chandigarh and they have assured him they will sort him out and equip him in time to face the West Indies.

Cricket Ireland issued a statement on the missing bats affair yesterday to explain why they reported the matter to the police, rather than the local state cricket association.

“Niall O’Brien, as instructed by the local ICC liaison officer, left his bag containing six cricket bats in the dressing room along with the team baggage to be collected and returned to the hotel.

“One of his bags was brought back but the second, containing the bats, did not arrive at the team collection point in the hotel.

“To enable Niall to claim compensation from his insurance company we reported the matter to the local police station. This was done to secure a police incident number, without which the insurance company will not entertain his claim.

“We are of the belief that they are missing rather than stolen — with so much luggage being transported all over India and Bangladesh, these things happen. We have informed ICC,” said the statement.

Andre Botha did not train yesterday but he is still expected to be fit to reclaim his place in the team to face the West Indies.

Physio Kieran O’Reilly reported that Botha’s rehab, from the groin injury which has kept him out of Ireland’s last two matches, is well under way and he remains confident he will be fit to take his place in the team on Friday.

O’Reilly also said that Trent Johnston has had the brace removed from his right knee, which he damaged when bowling his fifth over against India, but he will attempt no serious work until tomorrow.

Although Team Ireland are making all the right noises as they attempt to get their best team on the field for the match which could decide whether they reach the World Cup quarter finals, it is still odds against the oldest member of the squad lining out against the Windies.

Coach Phil Simmons, however, remains bullish about Ireland’s prospects in the tournament. He told the local media after yesterday’s optional training session: “There are three matches left (in the group) and as long as we get two wins we will give ourselves a chance of reaching the quarter finals.

“We always expect a hard game against West Indies and we are close to them in the table. But are chances are good against every team. When he get all three disciplines right, we can beat any team in the competition,” said the former West Indies all-rounder.

Meanwhile, Ireland wicketkeeper-batsman Gary Wilson has agreed a new deal with Surrey.

Wilson said: “It is brilliant to be extending my deal with Surrey. I really enjoy playing for the club and feel I can make a big contribution as we continue to move the team in a positive direction.”

Belfast Telegraph


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