| From the flag of Cass Hewett (Flagger since 2001) |
It all began in India, 2001. I decided to join my partner on tour to fulfil his greatest passion of watching and supporting Australian cricket overseas. Whilst he had toured many times previously, what was to become THE test series to remember was also the first time I ever watched a live game of test cricket. To be honest, it was the first time I had ever watched a game of test cricket, period!
Yes, Eden Gardens was a humbling experience to introduce me into the foray that is supporting your team across the cricketing globe. Lucky for me, I had joined what was to be The Flag’s first non-official tour and had the support and friendly faces of The Flag to turn to with wide eyed wonderment. From organising the tickets, to making sure the beers were cold at the end of a tough day’s spectating, the newly formed Flag family all rallied around to ensure each and every person had a tour to remember. And from here many true friendships were formed, many that will last through today and beyond!
I have watched the Flag grow from these humble beginnings, to running tours spanning four continents and almost every Test playing nation since. From the first official tour in South Africa 2002, the Flag crowds have been growing in numbers through the West Indies in 2003, to its peak in India 2004, where over 250 Flaggers joined the tours! And I am not the only one who keeps coming back!
There are a number of us “Flaggers” who plan our holidays around the next cricket tour, and look forward to catching up in the stands, supporting the boys in the Baggy Green, while wearing our ‘Flaggy Green’. (Needless to say 2006 and 2007 have been somewhat quiet years for the Flaggers overseas who are looking forward to coming out in full force in 2008!)
So what is it that makes us keep coming back? The combination of many contributing factors. It could be the ethos that is The Flag, that is to support Australian cricketers around the globe, whilst also being an ambassador for both our great country and the great sport. It could be the personal yet professional hands on approach that we receive from Luke each time we book and tour with The Flag; it could be Luke’s dedication to both the spirit and sportsmanship of the game that is so clearly evident in the attention to detail that he provides on his tours.
Or perhaps it can be attributed to the fact that every time we travel with The Flag, we add many new members to the Flag family, many who remain in touch long after the tour is over. It could be that each tour caters for all cricket supporters great and small. It may be that the spirit of The Flag is to spectate and enjoy whilst the game is on, and make the most of the culture and entertainment on offer when the bails are off. However others see The Flag, you will find me in the stands on the next overseas cricket tour, proudly waving my flag.
Thanks Luke, Cass.