NEW DELHI, JULY 12: India has left the World Cup but the World Cup is yet to leave the Men-in-Blue as Virat Kohli and Co are forced to stay in England till the final of ICC World Cup 2019. India’s sudden exit from the semi-final after an 18-run defeat to New Zealand on Wednesday, has not only left billions of fans heart-broken but it has also given rise to a piercing headache to the Indian Cricket Team’s logistic manager. The BCCI has reportedly failed to arrange return tickets for the Indian side on time, leaving Kohli, Dhoni and others including the coaches and support staff stranded in Manchester till Sunday.
The logistic planning went for a toss after India’s exit from the World Cup on Wednesday. The BCCI tried its best but the tickets could not be arranged on time and as per reports it will only arranged on or after Sunday, July 14 – the day England and New Zealand will play in the World Cup final at Lord’s.
The Indian cricketers, however, left their team hotel at Manchester on Thursday but are expected to remain in the city till Sunday. “Most of the boys will be in Manchester till July 14 and leave from there. Tickets are being booked after the campaign came to an end yesterday,” a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by Quint.
India will now be gearing up for a Test and limited-overs tour of West Indies starting August 3.
While a few players are set to return to India, some others are expected to stay back or leave for different destinations for a 2-week break after being on the road for past 7 weeks.
“The players will start leaving in batches and groups to their preferred destination as per availability of tickets,” a BCCI source told PTI.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose future is the subject of swirling speculation after what is being considered his last assignment in national colours, is expected to return to his hometown Ranchi after a few days.
Skipper Virat Kohli, at the end of the match on Wednesday, asserted that Dhoni has not told him anything about his future plans but it is learnt that an announcement on it might come once the 38-year-old returns home. The team has been together since reporting in Mumbai on May 20 before leaving for the United Kingdom the next day.
The series against the West Indies comprises 3 T20 Internationals (August 3 to 8), 2 of which will be played in Florida, USA.
This will be followed by an ODI series from August 8 to 14 and the assignment will end with a 2-match Test series from August 22 to September 3.
The Tests are set to be West Indian swashbuckler Chris Gayle’s last outing in national colours. (Courtesy: HT)