May 29, 2003

Australian players robbed at Trinidad airport

Wisden Cricinfo staff

The Australian cricket team has called for a thorough police investigation after being robbed of their cricketing gear at Trinidad airport. Forty-two items were stolen as the team checked in on Monday for their flight to Grenada. It was the second time on the current tour that the Australian team had been robbed at the Trinidad airport - their gear had been burgled after last month's second Test as well.

"There's been an issue at Trinidad airport for a number of seasons, where past touring sides have suffered from pilfering of cricket gear from team bags," Steve Bernard, the Australian team manager, said. "We feel that because it's a repeat - of a repeat of a repeat of a repeat - it's vital the police are involved and it's a thorough investigation. That would be my hope, but I'm not a decision-maker here."

Among the items stolen were bats, shirts, shoes, sunglasses, pads and gloves. Matthew Hayden, Michael Bevan and Andy Bichel all lost their bats, with Bichel losing the willow which brought him spectacular success at the World Cup.

Australia are not the first team to suffer this fate in the West Indies - Indian and South African teams have also been robbed on earlier tours to the Caribbean. With the West Indies scheduled to host the 2007 World Cup, the authorities have plenty of work to do to ensure a trouble-free tournament.