Sunday 17 November 2019

Irish fury at row report

Gerard Siggins in Bangalore

THE Irish team that stunned the world of cricket last week with a World Cup victory over England has been accused of causing "sparks to fly" at a restaurant after the game.

The Irish team management was yesterday described as "very upset" at an article in a local newspaper which claimed there was aggro when the two teams met in a restaurant after last Wednesday's game. The article has been dismissed as complete rubbish by both teams.

Under the headline 'Gentleman's Game?', an unnamed reporter wrote: "After Ireland trounced England and reminded them of the Troubles, a few sparks did fly when the two teams ran into each other at the restaurant of the ITC Gardenia Hotel where both teams were put up.

"A senior police officer, responsible for the teams' security, said that you could see it on the English faces. Of course, things didn't descend to verbal jousts or other kinds of provocation, but the body language said it all. One only wonders what would have happened if there was no 11pm deadline for drinks and Irish and English 'spirits' had gone up."

Ireland media manager Barry Chambers refused to comment, but it is understood that the players are extremely annoyed.

England's players came through the hotel lobby where Ireland were celebrating after the game and their captain Andrew Strauss received a warm rendition of 'Happy Birthday'.

Strauss later returned to the bar with two colleagues, Paul Collingwood and Matt Prior, and joined the Irish players for two drinks.

"They were very social and although disappointed, were full of praise for our display, and especially Kevin O'Brien's," said one player.

Eight of the Irish team play full-time with English clubs in the County Championship. Meanwhile, Ireland's World Cup odyssey continues this morning against host nation India in Bangalore.

See Pages 6, 9 & 16

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