England leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed was stopped from entering India on Monday ahead of his team’s third Test in the five-match series in the country.
This was the second time in the same series that an England cricketer of Pakistani origin has had visa troubles. At the beginning of the series that started on January 25, Shoaib Bashir received his visa late and was unable to reach India in time to make his Test debut for England.
According to The Indian Express, Bashir had travelled to the Abu Dhabi, UAE, with the rest of his England teammates ahead of the series before he could be given a visa to enter India. He had to instead return to London to submit his passport before the necessary paperwork was processed, causing the delay.
In Ahmed’s case however, he had been granted only a single-entry visa to enter India. That entry had been used when he travelled with the team for the first match. However, once the England team travelled outside India, to their training base in Abu Dhabi during the long gap between the second and third Tests, the visa was no longer valid.
Sportstar reported that the England team returned to India on Monday, landing at the Hirasar airport in Rajkot – the venue for the third Test that starts on Thursday. Ahmed was then denied entry since his single-entry visa had already been used in his previous visit to the country.
According to the report, the 19-year-old from Nottingham, was granted a two-day visa and eventually allowed to leave the airport, and the process is on to grant him a visa to allow him to play in the remaining three Tests.