• Thursday, July 25, 2024


Special Air India plane to fly stranded Indian cricket team home from Barbados

The flight to carry the World Cup-winning squad, which has remained stuck in the Caribbeans because of Hurricane Beryl, is named AIC24WC — Air India Champions 24 World Cup.

India captain Rohit Sharma of India celebrates victory after winning the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup after defeating South Africa in final at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, on June 29, 2024. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

IT’S been four days since India won the T20 World Cup crown in the Caribbeans but the cricketers have not been able to return home yet due to extreme weather conditions in Barbados and adjoining areas that were battered by Hurricane Beryl.

The departure of the squad, some officials of the Indian cricket board, the players’ families and members of the Indian media were further delayed as an Air India chartered flight, which was to arrive from New Jersey in the United States, got late in reaching Barbados.

The Men in Blue were originally scheduled to leave for India on Sunday (30), a day after they beat South Africa by seven runs in a thrilling final in Bridgetown to lift their second world cup in the shortest format after 17 years, but were forced to stay back in the island-nation as its government shut down the airport due to the hurricane and all flights were cancelled.

Read: After Kohli, India captain Rohit Sharma bows out of T20 internationals: ‘I never thought that…’

Hurricane Beryl impact in Barbados
A boat ended up in a tree after the passage of Hurricane Beryl in Oistins gardens, Christ Church, Barbados, on July 1, 2024. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Indian team was rescheduled to leave around 6 pm local time on Tuesday (2) and arrive in India at 7.45 local time on Wednesday (3).

Read: India win T20 World Cup, beat South Africa in seesaw final

The players are now likely to land in Delhi on early Thursday (4) morning if there is no further delay. The aircraft that would bring the team back landed in Barbados around 12 pm on Tuesday. Asian News International shared pictures from the airport.

On Tuesday, Rajiv Shukla, vice president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said the players were scheduled to fly home on Wednesday (3) evening local time, after remaining stranded in the Caribbean island for three days.

“Thank God team India is flying back from Barbados this evening to Delhi. Will be reaching tomorrow evening. They were stuck for three days there because of massive hurricane. @BCCI has made all arrangements for safe flight of players back home. BCCI secretary @JayShah himself is monitoring the whole situation,” he posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday.

Shah is also currently in the Caribbeans where he handed over the trophy and medals to the Indian cricketers and announced a whopping Rs 125 crore as the prize money.

The special flight that would bring the players back is named AIC24WC — Air India Champions 24 World Cup.

The flight is expected to take off from Barbados at 4:30 am (local time Barbados) and will take 16 hours to reach Delhi.

The Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados resumed its operations on Tuesday.

(With agency inputs)

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