About 10 days after England spinner Shoaib Bashir found himself in the middle of a visa row, compatriot Rehan Ahmed is battling a similar issue. The spinner was stopped from entering India after he and the rest of the England team members had gone to Abu Dhabi during the 10-day break between the second and the third Test. Rehan was reportedly stopped at the Hirasar airport, Rajkot, as he wasn’t carrying the right paperwork required for his entry into the country.
As per a report in Sportstar, Rehan was stopped at the airport as he only held a single-entry visa. Considering the assignment at hand and the seriousness of the situation, the local authorities tried to get a short-term solution and were able to grant him a 2-day visa. But, the England camp has ben advised to fully sort out the issue in the next two days.
To put things into context, a person holding a single-entry visa is not allowed to exit and re-enter the country.
The England team, however, is optimistic that the issue will be sorted fully in the next 24 hours. Barring Rehan, the other travelling squad members and support staff of the England team didn’t face any issue and had reached their hotel in Rajkot by Monday evening.
“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 Hindustan Times.
It is the first time that an international flight landed directly in Rajkot. Hence, a temporary immigration counter was set up with officials from Jamnagar to oversee the situation. There were a total of 31 members of the travelling England contingent that were to enter India and only Rehan faced the visa issue.
Unlike Bashir, Rehan encountered no trouble in entering India the first time with the rest of the England squad members.
England would be keen to have the visa issue pertaining to Rehan sorted out fully as there are three more Tests to go in the series, with the next one starting on February 15.