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Flight into danger with the Indian team

October 26, 2007 17:01 IST
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Reader Sajid Khan sent us these pictures from Malaysia.

'It was October 15.

I was traveling from Nagpur to Mumbai. The Indian and Australian cricket teams were on the same flight; having finished the Nagpur ODI,' writes Sajid.

'This was the flight that was hit by a bird, forcing the pilot to go in for an emergency landing. All of us then waited, and took another flight that left at  2:30 p.m.

There were a lot of people in the airport that day, most of them hoping to get a glimpse of the cricket stars. The flight was scheduled to take off at  8:30 a.m., but it was 9:00 a.m by the time it began taxi-ing for take off.

Most of the players were in the economy class, though a few of the Australians had found seats in business class. Also on board was the Nimbus cricket telecast team. In fact, barring a few of us ordinary passengers, the plane was mostly full of cricketers and crew.

I was seated next to Sreesanth. Shortly after the plane took off, and before we had reached cruising height, there was a very scary, loud noise, from the direction of the left engine.

We were first surprised, then scared. The plane continued to fly, but wasn't climbing. Everyone was silent, wondering what was going on.

I had a window seat, and when I looked out, I could see people walking along the roads below; I realized then just how low we were.

When the pilot announced that the plane was returning to Nagpur, our uneasiness increased. The players were noticeably silent, some had worried faces.

We landed safely in Nagpur, and were served refreshments. We were then asked to get off, and a new flight was announced.

I spent some time talking to Sreesanth, and found him to be a nice guy, very down-to-earth', says Sajid.

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