West Indies and India teams have been officially cleared to travel to the United States of America. They will be playing two T20I games in Florida this weekend. West Indies players have already reached Florida. That means the 4th and 5th T20 at Lauderhill, Florida is on.
Some members of both teams, including players, have so far not been granted US visas, Cricbuzz has reported during the past two days.
Thanks to the intervention of the Guyana government, the US Visas for some players and support staff of the two sides could be obtained, albeit at the eleventh hour.
“It was a timely and influential diplomatic effort by His Excellency,” said Ricky Skerritt, the president of Cricket West Indies (CWI), thanking the head of the Guyana government.
There were, in fact, 14 of them from the Indian touring party who did not have the travel approvals.
Others, including Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Dinesh Karthik, Ravi Bishnoi, Suryakumar Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav, have reached Miami meanwhile. They will be joined by the rest of the teammates on Thursday night.
The teams aim to be there by Thursday for the two matches, which are on Saturday and Sunday (August 6 and 7) in Miami, Florida. Miami and Georgetown, Guyana, is connected by a five-hour flight.
“They can fly only tomorrow afternoon. All Visa applications have been approved but passports are not to be returned until this afternoon,” Skerritt said.
“All that the CWI could do has been done. Last night’s charter to Miami, for those previously with visas, was at greater financial risk to delay it than to operate it as previously planned,” Skerritt further said.
This will be the third time when USA is scheduled to host India-WI fixtures. In 2016, the Men in Blue locked horns with Men in Maroon in two T20Is in Florida. The visitors lost the series 1-0. In 2019, USA hosted the first two T20Is of the three-match series. The Virat Kohli-led side won that series 3-0.
India is leading the series by 2-1 after winning the third T20I against West Indies at Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts, by 7 wickets.