In yet another visa setback during England’s India tour, Rehan Ahmed faced a hurdle at Hirasar airport in Rajkot. He was barred from departing due to inadequate paperwork. Reports surfaced on Monday revealing Rehan’s inability to re-enter India post the mid-series break in Abu Dhabi due to a single-entry visa.
After a brief delay, local authorities provided a temporary solution for the leg-spinner. England remains hopeful that the matter will be resolved within 24 hours. By Monday evening, all members of the travelling squad and support staff had assembled at the team hotel in Rajkot. The incident highlighted the complexities of Pakistani heritage international cricketer’s’ tours and visa regulations in India.
“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 was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
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Rehan Ahmed joins Shoaib Bashir’s visa conundrum club
Following the recent visa hiccup faced by Rehan Ahmed on England’s India tour, reminiscent of Shoaib Bashir’s delay weeks earlier, the complexities of visa procedures for players with Pakistani heritage have surfaced once again. Bashir’s entry into India was marred by a week-long delay, causing him to miss the first Test in Hyderabad. His arrival on January 28, during the first Test in Visakhapatnam, followed a convoluted journey from Abu Dhabi to the UK and back.
Unlike Bashir, Rehan, also of Pakistani descent and born in England, initially encountered no visa issues due to his prior arrangement secured in October for the England 50-over World Cup squad. The episode likely stems from an administrative lapse by the ECB, given the white-ball squad’s prolonged stay in India during the World Cup, which concluded in the group stages. Such incidents shed light on the meticulous planning and coordination required for international cricket tours.
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