• Thursday, July 25, 2024

CRICKET

Team India, stranded in Barbados due to hurricane, may return on July 2

The Rohit Sharma-led squad, its support staff, some officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, and the players’ families have remained stuck for the past two days after winning the T20 World Cup.

India cricketers Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma pose with the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup after winning the final match against South Africa at Kensington on June 29, 2024 in Bridgetown, Barbados, on June 29, 2024. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE T20 World Cup-winning Indian cricket team might be able to fly home on Tuesday (2) evening after Barbados prime minister Mia Mottley said she expects the airport to become operational in the “next six to 12 hours”, ending the shutdown forced by a category-4 hurricane.

The Rohit Sharma-led squad, its support staff, some officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, and the players’ families have been stranded for the past two days due to Hurricane Beryl. The team won the title on Saturday (29) after defeating South Africa by seven runs in the final.

“We hope, and we’re working towards later today. I don’t want to speak in advance of it, but I’ve literally been in touch with the airport personnel and they’re doing their last checks now and we want to resume normal operations as a matter of urgency,” Mottley, who has been overseeing relief operations on the ground, told Press Trust of India.

“There are a number of people who were due to leave yet last night late or today or tomorrow morning. And we want to make sure that we can facilitate those persons, so I would anticipate that within the next six to 12 hours that the airport will be open,” she said.

Life-threatening winds and storm lashed Barbados and nearby islands on Monday (1).

The country, with a population of close to 300,000, has been in a lockdown since Sunday (30) evening.

“(We have) been working to ensure that everyone is safe in Barbados, Barbadians and all of the visitors, of course, who came for the cricket World Cup. We were very blessed that the storm did not come on land.

“The hurricane was 80 miles south of us, which limited the level of damage on shore. But as you can see, we’ve had coastal, infrastructure and coastal assets badly damaged,” Mottley said.

“It could have been a lot worse, but now is the time to do the recovery and the cleanup.”

The window to leave Bridgetown is a narrow one as Mottley revealed that “we have another hurricane coming on Wednesday.”

She hoped that the Indians, who have stayed put at their hotel since winning the trophy, will be in high spirits despite the lockdown, having ended a title drought of 11 years.

“I’m sure that in spite of the passage of the hurricane, that they would have been in very, very, very good mood and spirit and to win in the manner that they won on Saturday. I think they will be floating on air for a little time,” she quipped.

(With PTI inputs)

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