BCCI seeks ICC word on WC travel

BCCI CAO Ratnakar Shetty said the Board is awaiting a word from the International Cricket Council as Indian players are to go to West Indies via London.

“ICC makes the travel plans for the tournament (Twenty20 World Cup). The team is scheduled to travel to London en route to the West Indies. But with the flights all over Europe being affected we are awaiting a word from ICC. They have told us they would intimate us in a day or two,” said Shetty.

Air travel into and out of UK and other parts of Europe has been suspended in the wake of huge clouds of volcanic ash emanating from Iceland.

The Twenty20 World Cup begins on April 30 and concludes on May 16. India have been pooled with qualifiers Afghanistan and South Africa in Group C. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men would cross swords with Afghanistan on May 1 at St Lucia and then take on the Proteas the next day.

The top two teams from each of the four preliminary groups would advance to the Super Eight stage. In fact the volcanic ash that has shut airspace in Europe might affect the Twenty20 World Cup as many of the competing teams would struggle to reach the Caribbean on scheduled time.

England and Ireland will not travel unless the UK airspace opens up and other teams will also find it tough to reach on time as London is a major transit point.

An ECB spokesman told ‘Cricinfo’ “they are monitoring the situation and will make a decision in a few days time as to the arrangements for the team - who are due to leave next weekend - although there seem precious few alternatives with the nearby European airports such as Paris and Frankfurt also closed.”

A lot of players are in India currently for the Indian Premier League and with London being a transit point, their travel plans are also likely to be affected. The teams can take an alternate route and fly via the Middle East and then the United States to avoid European skies.

Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are likely to fly directly to the Caribbean for the event scheduled April 30 to May 16.

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