| From the flag of Claire Bartle (Flagger since 2004) |
Travelling to a new country, particularly a third-world country, can be a bit of a scary experience. Yes, there are guidebooks, but they're not always completely relevant and they're even less useful if, like me, you have a habit of leaving them in taxis within minutes of arriving in a new country.
But if you travel with Waving The Flag you don't have to worry, because Luke has been there and done it all, and he passes on his vast experience in his travel notes which each Flagger recieives. I travelled to India in 2004 and getting Luke's notes beforehand made what could have been a daunting prospect (it was my first time in a truly 3rd world country) suddenly seem a lot more manageable - like the crazily fun adventure it turned out to be.
As well as being an entertaining read, Luke's guide leaves out the irrelevant stuff and adds all the vital info you'll want as a cricket-loving backpacker - like how to avoid missing your train, getting ripped off or ending up in hospital - plus the stuff that the official guides are sometimes too nice to mention, such as what the hell you are supposed to do with a squat toilet. It was so useful I have passed it on to other people who have visited India, and I will be taking it with me for my second trip there in 2006 (yep, I loved the place so much I'm going back even when there's no cricket!)
If you are having second thoughts about doing a Waving The Flag tour then don't - I can honestly say it's been the highlight of many years of travelling for me. Having the experience of Luke and the other Flaggers around you just adds to the fun: it's like the Invincibles of cricket-watching.
(And what's more, if you leave your travel info in the taxi you can always go back to your email and print off another one!)