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'Hopefully Rehan's visa issue will be sorted in a day or so'

Last updated on: February 13, 2024 14:13 IST
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IMAGE: Rehan Ahmed was not allowed to leave the Rajkot airport as he had only a single-entry visa. Photograph: BCCI

The lack of multiple entry India visa had delayed Rehan Ahmed's exit from the airport after England arrived in Rajkot for the third Test on Monday, but the spinner's team-mate Ollie Pope hopes that the issue will be resolved ahead of the match, starting on Thursday.


England had flown to Abu Dhabi on an extended 10-day break after the second Test at Visakhapatnam but on the team's return on Monday, Ahmed was stopped from leaving the Rajkot International Airport in Hirasar because he had only a single-entry visa.

The local immigration authorities managed to give the 19-year-old an interim two-day visa to facilitate his entry, and Pope was optimistic that the entire episode would come to an end sooner than later.

"Hopefully it (Ahmed's visa issue) will be sorted in a day or so," said Pope in Rajkot on Tuesday.

Ahmed took two wickets in the first Test which England won by 28 runs, while in the second Test at Visakhapatnam he grabbed six wickets but India won by 106 runs to level the five-match series 1-1.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement on Tuesday that the Indian authorities had found some discrepancies in Ahmed's paperwork and that they were working towards resolving it.

"We were advised, on returning to India, that there was paperwork discrepancy with Rehan Ahmed's visa," ESPNCricinfo had quoted the England and Wales Cricket Board.

"The local authorities at Rajkot Airport were supportive, enabling Rehan's 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," the statement added.

Rehan is the second England player to face visa issues in India after team-mates Shoaib Bashir's arrival in India ahead of the five-match Test series was also delayed because of visa problems.

England's Pakistan-origin off-spinner Bashir was forced to head back to England from the team's Abu Dhabi training base after a prolonged wait for visa. He ended up missing the first Test in Hyderabad but reached in time for the second match in Visakhapatnam.

The delay snowballed into a major controversy with a British government spokesperson demanding "fair" treatment for the youngster and captain Ben Stokes hardly mincing words in expressing his outrage.

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