Saturday, March 2, 2024

England cricket blow as third player affected by visa issues ahead of next India Test

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England have been hit with further visa trouble ahead of the third Test against India, which starts in Rakjot on Thursday.

Rehan Ahmed was briefly prohibited from re-entering India on Monday after Ben Stokes’ team returned from a mid-series break in Abu Dhabi.


Two England players have already been affected by visa issues this series and Ahmed now adds to the worries.

Young spinner Shoaib Bashir missed the first Test after being denied a visa, while Ollie Robinson only received his visa on the day he was set to fly to India.

England spinner Rehan Ahmed was briefly denied entry into India on Monday

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England took advantage of the break between the second and third Tests to enjoy some downtime in Abu Dhabi.

However, Ahmed was delayed at Rajkot Airport on Monday after it emerged he did not have the right paperwork.

The 19-year-old only had a single-entry visa, which caused an issue as he attempted to re-enter the country.

Ahmed has been granted a two-day emergency visa as the ECB attempts to resolve the issue before the third Test starts on Thursday.

A statement from the ECB said: “We were advised, on returning to India, that there was paperwork discrepancy with Rehan Ahmed’s visa.

“The local authorities at Rajkot Airport were supportive, enabling Rehan entry on a temporary visa.

“The correct visa should be processed and issued in the coming days.

“He will continue to prepare with the rest of the squad ahead of the third Test.”

England will be keen to iron out any issues and have Ahmed available for selection in Rajkot.

Jack Leach has been ruled out of the remainder of the series with a knee injury and a replacement has not been called up.

A BBCI official told the Hindustan Times: “The England team has been advised to process the visa again which will be happening in the next two days.

“The player was allowed to enter the country with the rest of the team and he will be appearing in practice on Tuesday.”

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Rehan Ahmed

Rehan Ahmed has been granted an emergency visa ahead of the third Test against India

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Bashir’s visa issues earlier in the series prevented him from entering India and he had to fly back to the UK to get documents sorted.

He missed the opener in Hyderabad before returning to make his debut in Vizag a week later.

Robinson, meanwhile, initially thought he would be unable to fly to India from Abu Dhabi ahead of the series.

The seam bowler revealed that England team manager Wayne Bentley had told him his visa had been rejected.

Ollie Robinson

England bowler Ollie Robinson had visa issues just before the series started

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Robinson said on his podcast Chatting Balls: “He said, ‘your visa has been denied’ or something.

“There was an error at the ECB – I think they must have just put an initial wrong, or one letter must have been wrong.

“It didn’t pass. He was like, ‘You’re not coming to India – you have to stay here for another night… it could be two nights, could be three nights, don’t know how long it’s going to take.’

“Luckily, I woke up in the morning to a nice message from Wayne saying ‘visa’s here’.”

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