West Indies in Ireland and England 2004 July 1, 2004

West Indies were well treated, says Irish board

Wisden Cricinfo staff

The Irish Cricket Union has refuted allegations, made on a West Indian website and reported here, that the West Indian tourists received a less-than-warm welcome when they arrived in Belfast at the start of their UK tour.

Peter Thompson, the Irish board's chief executive, said: "No fewer than four officials of the Irish Cricket Union greeted our visitors on arrival at Belfast Airport, they left the airport by coach within half-an-hour of touchdown, and were at their city centre hotel 15 minutes later. Skipper Brian Lara and coach Gus Logie conducted a news conference for the Irish media in the hotel, much to the satisfaction of all concerned.

"On departure five days later, the party was generous in its praise of Irish hospitality - apart, of course, from the six-wicket defeat in the second of the two Bank of Ireland one-day games."

The original article bemoaned the absence of any ECB officials to greet the tourists, but Andrew Walpole, the ECB's media-relations officer, said at the time that both boards had jointly agreed there would be no official press conference on the West Indians' arrival at Belfast, which is why the ECB didn't send anyone there to meet them.