Monday 22 January 2018

Blarney Army faces battle to see games

Luke Byrne

THEY are known as the 'Blarney Army', but Irish cricket fans hoping to secure a last-minute trip to cheer on the team could be disappointed.

A travel company has said that securing a visa and the necessary vaccinations will make it difficult to get to India in time for Ireland's next four matches.

The team has paid tribute to the around 500 diehard fans who have travelled to watch Ireland contest the World Cup.

Many of them are expats who live in Australia or New Zealand, closer to host nations Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

But due to the length of the tournament, from February 19 to April 2, and the distance between venues, many fans watch a small group of fixtures before returning home.

Gordon Penny, whose travel company organised one package for 20 from Ireland to get there, said that there are obstacles in the way of getting over.

The game against India on Sunday is out for any hopeful traveller, as is the West Indies match on March 11.

"The problem is with trying to get the jabs as well as the visa, though that shouldn't be too difficult," he said.

Mr Penny said he would try to put a package together for the games against South Africa and the Netherlands in Calcutta on March 15 and 19, which would cost around €2,700.

A spokesman for Cricket Ireland said that there had been a large number of calls from people interested in travelling since Wednesday's victory.

"We have a travel company, Tempus, who sent the team over and we'll look into putting together a package," he said.

Irish Independent

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