Sunday, March 3, 2024

England’s Rehan Ahmed questioned at Rajkot airport for carrying incorrect visa

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Young England leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed was held by Indian immigration officials here on Monday evening after it was found that he arrived with a single-entry visa.

England’s Rehan Ahmed celebrates the wicket of India’s Ravichandran Ashwin during the third day of the second Test match between India and England(PTI)

A person holding a single-entry visa is not allowed to exit and re-enter the country. The England team returned to India after enjoying a 10-day break in Abu Dhabi between the second and the third Test through an Abu Dhabi-Rajkot chartered flight.

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“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,” a BCCI official said.

This was the first instance where an international flight landed directly in Rajkot. For this purpose, a temporary immigration counter was set up with officials from Jamnagar overseeing the work. Rehan was the only one from the 31-member English contingent who did not have the right visa.

Rehan became England’s youngest men’s Test cricketer to take five wickets on Test debut in Karachi against Pakistan last year. Ahmed was born in Nottingham in 2004 to father Naeem, a former fast-bowling all-rounder from Pakistan.

Rehan is one of the three young spinners to have impressed on the Indian tour, alongside left-arm spinner Tom Hartley and off-spinner Shoaib Bashir – both made their debuts here. Rehan has picked eight wickets in the two Tests yet. The trio will now be shouldering the spin-burden on tour after Jack Leach was ruled out due to injury.

So far, England have employed a three-spinner strategy alongside a sole fast bowler. James Anderson played the Visakhapatnam Test match while Mark Wood was seen in action in Hyderabad. Joe Root is the other spin bowling option in the side.

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