Victorious Team India’s return journey: Airport will open in ‘next six to 12 hours’ says Barbados PM

Watch: Victorious Team India’s return journey: Airport will open in ‘next six to 12 hours’ says Barbados PM
| Video Credit: PTI

The Rohit Sharma-led squad, its support staff, some BCCI officials, and the players' families have been stranded in Barbados for two days due to hurricane Beryl.

Updated - July 02, 2024 03:34 pm IST

Published - July 02, 2024 09:13 am IST - Bridgetown (Barbados)

The T20 World Cup-winning Indian cricket team is set to fly home aboard a charter flight on Tuesday, July 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.

A boat ended up in a tree after the passage of Hurricane Beryl in Oistins gardens, Christ Church, Barbados on July 1, 2024.

A boat ended up in a tree after the passage of Hurricane Beryl in Oistins gardens, Christ Church, Barbados on July 1, 2024. | Photo Credit: AFP

The Rohit Sharma-led squad, its support staff, some BCCI officials, and the players' families have been stranded for the past two days due to hurricane Beryl. The team won the title on Saturday, June 29, 2024, after defeating South Africa by seven runs in the final.

India captain Rohit Sharma poses with the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy.

India captain Rohit Sharma poses with the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy. | Photo Credit: PTI

PM Modi to felicitate Team India

The contingent is expected to leave Bridgetown at 6pm (local time) and land in Delhi on Wednesday, July 2 at 7.45pm (IST), according to a source. The players will be later felicitated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but the schedule of that event has not yet been finalised.

Earlier, Ms. Mottley gave an update on the situation here.

"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 to normal operations as a matter of urgency," Ms. Mottley, who has been overseeing relief operations on the ground, told PTI.

"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. The country, with a population of close to three lakh, has been in a lockdown since Sunday evening.

"(We have) been working to ensure that everyone is safe in Barbados, Barbadians and all of the visitors, of course, who came for 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 costal, infrastructure and costal assets have been badly damaged," Ms. Mottley said.

Also read: PM Modi speaks to Indian cricket team after T20 World Cup win

"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 Ms. 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.

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