After Rehand Ahmed became the second England cricketer to have visa issues during this India tour, pacer Ollie Robinson said he too had problems procuring his but it was mainly due to an error on the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) part. The right-arm pacer said he only received his visa on the morning of England’s team Hyderabad-bound flight from Abu Dhabi before the first Test. It got delayed because of a “missing initial” in the visa documents.
“He (Wayne Bentley, England’s manager) said, ‘your visa has been denied’ or something,” Robinson said on his podcast, Chatting Balls. “There was an error at the ECB – I think they must have just put an initial wrong, or one letter must have been wrong. It didn’t pass. He was like, ‘you’re not coming to India – you have to stay here for another night… it could be two nights, could be three nights, don’t know how long it’s going to take.’ Luckily, I woke up in the morning to a nice message from Wayne saying ‘visa’s here’.”
Robinson hasn’t featured in the first two Tests as England decided to field only one seamer in each of those Tests.
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, Rehan Ahmed was stopped from leaving the Hirasar airport here 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 while addressing a press conference here 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 ECB.
“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.