What's the story
After heavy flooding over the past one week shut down almost all systems in the state of Kerala, Indian pacer and Keralite Basil Thampi is set for a delayed rejoining with his India Blue side, who are looking to face India Red in the upcoming Duleep Trophy fixture. The youngster is taking a long detour from his original route and travelling via road, as the railway and airway services have been stopped temporarily in the state.
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Several cricketers have been in news for donating generously for the rescue and rehab efforts in Kerala. While IPL star Sanju Samson who also hails from the state has handed over 15 Lakh INR for the cause, India captain Virat Kohli and his teammates pledged the entirety of the match fee sum from the third England-India Test match, which they won. Kohli also dedicated the game to the flood-ravaged Keralites, honouring them in the win.
Hampered transport services kept Basil Thampi in his home at Kochi and it was not until yesterday afternoon, that a last-minute arrangement was made for him to travel via road to join his teammates in Madurai. Meanwhile, the India Blue side practised for almost three hours on Wednesday, without availing the absent Thampi's services.
"The officials had booked a flight for me on Tuesday morning but that got cancelled. The Kochi airport is still not open. Only some flights are operating out of the navy base. I booked a cab and I am travelling now. Generally, it takes around 6-7 hours from here to reach Madurai. However, due to the crisis, it might take a bit longer. But I will join the team tonight," Thampi said in a phone conversation with The Times of India on Wednesday night.
It is tea break right now at the NPR College Ground in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, where India Red have won the toss and opted to bat first against India Blue in the second match of the Duleep Trophy, currently at 81/1. They lost Abhinav Mukund (0) in the third ball of the innings at just 1 run, but since then, Baba Aparajith (28) and Sanjay Ramaswamy (52) have carried the game forward for the Reds. Basil Thampi could not make it into the final XI for the India Blue side.