Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid were among those flown to Georgetown in Guyana to attend visa interviews at the US Embassy © BCCI
After days of agonizing waiting, all members of the Indian and Caribbean teams were officially cleared to travel to the United States of America. They will play two T20I games in Florida this weekend.
Thanks to the intervention of the Guyanese government, US visas for some players and support staff from both parties could be obtained, but at the eleventh hour. Cricbuzz can confirm that it took the efforts of Irfan Ali, the President of Guyana, to obtain the travel authorizations. “It was a timely and influential diplomatic effort by His Excellency,” said Ricky Skerritt, Chairman of Cricket West Indies (CWI), thanking the Guyana Prime Minister.
As previously reported, those without visas were flown to Georgetown, Guyana from the third T20I to St. Kitts on Tuesday August 2 for interviews at the US Embassy. Among those who attended the talks were Indian skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid. There were, in fact, 14 of them from the Indian tour who did not have travel permits.
Others including Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Dinesh Karthik, Ravi Bishnoi, Suryakumar Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav have reached Miami in the meantime. They will be joined by the rest of the teammates on Thursday evening.
“They can’t fly until tomorrow afternoon. All visa applications have been approved but passports are not due back until this afternoon,” Skerritt said, revealing the reason for the trip delay. “Everything the CWI could do was done. Last night’s charter in Miami, for those who previously had visas, presented a greater financial risk to delay than to make it work as planned,” Skerritt added. .
Meanwhile, it has been learned that Rohit will be available for the final two games on Saturday and Sunday. The Indian skipper retired injured during the team’s pursuit against West Indies in the 3rd T20I at Warner Park, Basseterre, St. Kitts on Tuesday. He had scored 11 balls on five balls when he had to leave the field. The Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) said the skipper was suffering from a back spasm. We now learn that he has recovered. India won the game to take a 2-1 lead in the five-game series.