Just when they thought the frenetic criss-crossing of Indian airspace for the IPL was coming to an end, Delhi Daredevils players had the fright of their lives mid-air.
Their Indigo flight from Raipur to Delhi on Monday afternoon ran into major turbulence, and the plane went into a free fall for some 80 metres, according to a passenger.
The passengers were shaking in fear as the plane was buffeted by the elements. Rain and thunderstorm that lashed Delhi and its surrounding areas then forced the flight to be diverted to Lucknow, where passengers were stuck in the plane for over two hours before it took off for the Capital.
South African players Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Sam Morris, Imran Tahir, Aussie Nathan Coulter-Nile, England’s Sam Billings, India’s Rishabh Pant, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Pawan Negi and Jayant Yadav, South African head coach Paddy Upton and Daredevils CEO Hemant Dua were on board.
Poor weather forced several Delhi flights to be diverted on Monday. The one carrying many Kolkata Knight Riders players was diverted to Jaipur, but they seem to have been spared the ordeal of the Daredevils squad.
Even after the flight with Daredevils players landed in Delhi, some nine hours after it had left Raipur, the passengers could not disembark immediately because the stairs were too unstable due to strong wind.
Shami tweeted while waiting on the Lucknow airport tarmac.
Should be in Delhi.now alhamdulila landed safe in lucknow.massive storm.bumpy flight.Thanx Allah pak 4keeping us safe.Very scary experience— Mohammed shami (@MdShami11) May 23, 2016
KKR’s Jaipur detour saw Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey all missing the nets in Kotla on Tuesday. After their flight reached Jaipur late in the night, they were put on a bus and reached Delhi early on Tuesday.
Daredevils were eliminated after losing their final league match to Royal Challengers Bangalore while KKR will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in Delhi on Wednesday.