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Indian T20 World Cup Winners to Depart from Barbados After Extended Delay

India’s triumphant squad at the T20 World Cup 2024 is finally set to depart from Barbados, following several days of delays caused by Hurricane Beryl. The severe storm, which made landfall shortly after India’s victory over South Africa on Saturday, June 29, has stranded the players, support staff, BCCI officials, and the Indian media contingent on the island. However, a special Air India flight is now scheduled to bring the World Cup heroes back home.

Led by Rohit Sharma, the Indian team clinched the T20 World Cup by defeating South Africa in a nail-biting final held at Kensington Oval in Barbados last week. The match concluded with India securing a narrow seven-run victory, sparking celebrations among fans and players alike. Unfortunately, these celebrations were cut short by the onset of Hurricane Beryl, which led to the shutdown of the airport and the cancellation of all flights to and from Barbados.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been working tirelessly over the past few days to arrange safe passage for the team, officials, and the media contingent. After several setbacks, the much-anticipated flight is finally expected to take off within a few hours. According to sources in Barbados, if no further delays occur, the World Cup-winning team is scheduled to arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi early on July 4, between 4 to 5 AM IST.

The disruption not only affected the Indian team but also caused a significant inconvenience to the Indian media contingent covering the event. All personnel were stranded until the airport resumed operations on July 2. Initially, the plan was for the Indian team to depart around 6 PM local time on July 2 (equivalent to 3:30 AM IST on July 3). However, the incoming Air India flight from India experienced multiple delays, and it is now projected to land in Barbados around 1 AM local time on July 3 (10:30 AM IST on July 3).

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, who has been with the team throughout this period, will also be aboard the return flight to India. Upon their arrival in New Delhi, Rohit Sharma and his team are expected to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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. The Prime Minister is likely to felicitate the World Cup-winning players and staff in a ceremony recognizing their monumental achievement.

However, the celebration will be short-lived for some members of the squad. Three players, namely Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson, and Shivam Dube, are slated to join the Indian team for a five-match T20I series against Zimbabwe. Due to the delays in their return from Barbados, these players might miss the first two matches of the series. They will only be able to depart for Harare after the scheduled felicitation ceremony in New Delhi.

The Indian team’s return journey has been fraught with challenges. Hurricane Beryl not only delayed their departure but also brought everyone together in an unexpected, albeit difficult, situation. During this time, the players and officials had to navigate these challenges while managing the post-victory phase that typically includes media interactions, celebratory events, and other engagements.

Despite these hurdles, the spirit within the Indian team remains high. The resilience they’ve shown during these trying times is reflective of the determination they displayed on the field throughout the T20 World Cup. This victory, along with the team’s ability to overcome the aftermath of the hurricane, will undoubtedly bolster their confidence as they look ahead to future competitions and commitments.

As the players and staff prepare to leave Barbados, the focus now shifts to managing their arrival back home and ensuring a smooth transition to their next set of responsibilities, both on and off the field. The special flight is a much-awaited end to a series of unfortunate events that unfolded in the wake of their glorious win. All eyes will be on the early morning developments at Indira Gandhi International Airport, where fans and media will eagerly await the return of their champions.