Intercontinental Cup October 20, 2005

Ireland players stranded in London

Cricinfo staff

Four members of Ireland's squad have been stranded at London's Gatwick airport ahead of Sunday's Intercontinental Cup semi-final in Namibia.

Vice-captain Kyle McCallan, Andrew White, Peter Gillespie and Greg Thompson will have only one day to acclimatise after their flight from Belfast to Gatwick was delayed by three hours and they missed their connecting flight to Namibia. They are hoping to fly to Namibia via Germany tonight. They play UAE at Windhoek on Sunday.

"We could not find a hotel in Gatwick when we finally arrived, and we had to try and sleep on the airport floor," McCallan told BBC Sport. "We moved on to Heathrow and are now awaiting a flight to Frankfurt which is due to take off at 22.45 on Thursday night. We will hopefully arrive early on Friday morning Namibian time. But the way things have gone at present, I'll not hold my breath."

While the rest of the 12-man squad have had a further two days to prepare for playing in the extreme heat, the stranded four have an uphill task to acclimatise. "It's an understatement to say that it's not been ideal preparation for Sunday's game," McCallan said. "At present we are absolutely exhausted. When we do arrive we will have to catch up on some sleep then do a bit of light training.

"Obviously, the whole mess will have a knock-on effect on the rest of the team. But come Sunday, whether batting or fielding, we will do the best as we possibly can."

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