| From the flag of Natasha Reid (Flagger since 2006) |
Since combining travel and my love of cricket, I have travelled with Waving The Flag for my last two overseas tours, and highly recommend it for the service, the personal touch, the gathering of like minded travellers and sports fans, and also for the wonder of Luke ‘Sparrow’ Gillian.
I first heard of ‘Sparrow’ when I was in Sri Lanka for the cricket in 2004, but met him in South Africa in 2006 where a mate and I joined his tour for the tests. Here we met the group of people with Waving The Flag, of all ages and backgrounds with one passion – to see the Aussies play cricket somewhere around the world. And many of this group have become lasting friends for me, such is the family of Flaggers that Luke’s tour creates – with many a catch up beer to be had back on home soil for the home tests. I have joined him in the West Indies in 2008, and again in Sri Lanka in 2011, and due to return to the tour again for the next two international tours (at the very least!).
For a fairly independent traveller, Luke’s tours allow you to do your own thing, in equal measure with being part of the group, and enjoying the vast local knowledge that he has picked up along his many years of touring. Part of the tour, along with tickets to the cricket, is a pre-test dinner and a plan for a local drinks destination after the end of the day’s play.
Joining the tour on your own is also not an issue, as you are fully welcomed and quickly become part of the fold. As a chick who likes cricket, you’d be surprised how many other girls this relaxed tour attracts, with usually an equal ratio. This is impressive, and a testament to Luke’s tours, given the numbers who return tour after tour.
In Sri Lanka last year the sight of Luke at the Arrivals gate in Colombo after a day of travel to get there was such a joy and comfort. He had arranged our transfer, meeting us personally to ensure the group of Flaggers joining the tour that night would travel to 3 hours down to Galle without any hassle. He had even ensured there were cold beers and the local rum awaiting us in the van for the trip down! Luke’s attention to detail, and anticipation of what his travelling group will need is spot on!
I recommend Waving The Flag to anyone who has the desire to see the Australian team play in any of the cricket nations, as a trip of a lifetime that Luke personally ensures exceeds expectations.