By Paras Ramoutar
Port of Spain : About 6,000 Indians made it to the just-ended World Cup in the Caribbean, according to the figures just released by the organisers.
The number would have been much higher had India progressed beyond the first round. Many fans cancelled their scheduled journey to the West Indies after the team crashed out early on.
A total of 40,000 special visas were issued to visitors to the Caribbean. Of these, 10,000 visas, with which fans hopped from one island nation to another, were issued in London.
Australia, Canada, India and the US issued 5,000-6,000 visas each.
Barbados Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley, also chairperson of the security committee, said that the staff at the visa issuing offices worked extremely hard to meet the huge demands.
"To obtain a CARICOM (Caribbean Community) Visa, an applicant has had to undergo several layers of security screening. As a result 1,386 people were denied entry into the region," she said.
She said the CARICOM Special Visa had been very effective in tackling crime, particularly the battle against human trafficking.
The Indian team was based in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, where it also played all its three group matches, losing two of them.
Australia defeated Sri Lanka in the rain-marred final April 28 to win the World Cup for an unprecedented third successive time. In all, the Aussies have now won the title four times.