With Jet Airways showing little signs of starting its operation again, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has struck a deal with Air India. The Indian cricket board has already signed the deal with the national carrier for the ongoing series against South Africa. If Air India manages to satisfy the board with its services, the two parties could extend the deal for a year.
Earlier this year in April, Jet Airways suspended their services for an indefinite period. Consequently, Team India had faced some problems while travelling to the UK for the World Cup. The BCCI had reportedly booked Fly Emirates tickets to make sure the players reach the UK in time. Even after the conclusion of the World Cup, the team was compelled to change the airlines.
An Air India source has now confirmed that both the parties are in talks for a deal. He also confirmed the current deal for the ongoing series against South Africa. “We have joined hands with the BCCI and the Indian team travelled by Air India to Dharamsala and will be using the services through the series. Post that, we will sit and assess how to move forward,” the source was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
A BCCI functionary also talked about the deal. The functionary said that the BCCI is looking at working with Air India and if things go well, the one-series agreement has the potential to turn into an annual contract.
“We are doing the current South Africa series with Air India since Jet is no longer flying. We had a contract with them (Jet) when it came to the team travelling in India. But we had to look at options at the start of this home season and we decided to give this a go and if all goes well, we move to a longer contract, say an annual one,” the functionary explained.
Not the first time
Meanwhile, BCCI is not new to working with Air India. The Indian cricket board had a contract with them in 2016 before striking a deal with Jet Airways. “The board had an annual contract with Jet in 2015, then we had a one-year contract with Air India in 2016 before going back to Jet for 2017 and 2018. Not getting into details, the experience was assessed at the end of the contract in 2016 and those taking the call decided to give Jet another shot,” a BCCI functionary said.
Talking about the series, the first T20I was washed out in Dharamsala. The second game will take place in Mohali on Wednesday. Both the teams will play a total of three T20Is and as many Tests.
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