New Delhi, July 21: After a near-perfect tour of England, the Indian cricket team flew out to the Caribbean for the white ball series and the BCCI spent around Rs 3.5 crore on their travel.
The final ODI against England got over on July 17 after which players who were rested for the upcoming 50 over matches went their own ways. However, players, who were supposed to travel to the West Indies, assembled and took a chartered flight, not a commercial one. As a result, the BCCI spent a hefty amount on a flight from Manchester to Port of Spain, a Times of India report said.
The team will play three ODIs in the Caribbean, beginning July 22, followed by five T20I starting July 29. Regular skipper Rohit Sharma, Pant and Pandya will return to the squad for the T20Is, while Kohli, Bumrah and Chahal have been rested for those matches as well.
"The BCCI spent Rs 3.5 crore on the chartered flight which took Team India from Manchester on Tuesday afternoon to Port of Spain (the capital of Trinidad and Tobago) by 11.30 pm IST. The reason a chartered flight was booked for the team was not Covid-19. It's difficult to book so many tickets on a commercial flight-the Indian contingent includes 16 players and members of the support staff, including head coach Rahul Dravid. There are players' wives who have travelled to the Caribbean too," TOI quoted a source close to the BCCI as saying.
The source added that it made sense to book a chartered flight instead of a commercial plane given how common the practice has become, especially among the world's top football clubs.
"Normally, in a commercial flight, this expense would've been around Rs 2 crore. A business class ticket from Manchester to Port of Spain would be around Rs 2 lakh. A chartered flight is more expensive, but it's a logical option to take. Most top football teams have a charter now," he said.
Upon reaching Trinidad on Wednesday, Team India, led by Shikhar Dhawan, had to turn to indoor nets ahead of the opening ODI of the three-match series starting on Friday, as rain prevented them from training outdoors.
The BCCI on Thursday tweeted a video report on the indoor nets as the final practice session had to be cancelled because of rain.
"Gearing up for ODI No.1 against the West Indies. Here's @ShubmanGill giving a lowdown on #TeamIndia's first net session in Trinidad," tweeted BCCI along with the video.