An England cricket board official has come forward to disclose that they knew Rehan Ahmed would face issues with his visa while re-entering India from Abu Dhabi in the space of a month. Ahmed along with his team mates had flown back to Abu Dhabi (for a break) where they underwent an 11-day preparatory camp before the series which began on January 25th at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium in Hyderabad.
Rehan Ahmed who has his ancestral roots from Pakistan, is on his first ever tour of India and 2nd sub-continent tour. His previous Asian tour saw him collect 7 wickets across innings (including a five-for) in the 3rd Test during England’s 3-0 whitewashing of Pakistan in December 2022 at Rawalpindi, Multan, and Karachi.
The 19-year-old would scalp 2 wickets on his debut innings with the ball before registering figures of 5/48 in the 3rd innings. The right-arm leg spinner gained a lot of prominence following his Test debut and he was recalled to the Test side exactly after 2 years for the tour of India.
Rehan Ahmed’s right-arm wrist spin is suitable in the conditions present over here and for that reason, he was picked alongside ruled-out left-arm off-spinner Jack Leach, Tom Hartley, and Shoaib Bashir. They formed a very inexperienced spin battery but they shockingly came out on top against India in the Hyderabad Test, winning the contest by 28 runs.
The 19-year-old had scalped only 2 wickets in that match and while he was grinding hard to get wickets in South India, his 18-year-old teammate – right-arm off-spinner Shoaib Bashir was dealing with a visa issue of his own. Bashir had to stay back in Abu Dhabi before returning to England alone while the entire team reached India for the series opener.
Shoaib Bashir’s visa was not cleared by the Indian authorities and by the time he arrived to the coastal state, he saw the Three Lions script a famous comeback victory to open the series in style. And something similar just happened to Rehan Ahmed as well.
The Nottingham-born cricketer arrived in India last month with a single-entry visa and when he returned with his national side yesterday at Rajkot where the 3rd Test takes place, Ahmed was forced to stay back in the airport to receive a temporary 2-day visa.
“Local Authorities At Rajkot Airport Were Supportive”, ECB Official Thanks Indian Authorities To Help Out Rehan Ahmed
After an emergency visa was issued for him to join the rest of his teammates for practice sessions in Rajkot, Rehan Ahmed was given assurances that he would be handed over with a correct visa in the coming days. This time, the English media or their cricket pundits cannot blame Indian authorities for the clearance delay as it was entirely their fault that got Rehan stuck in the airport for hours.
“We were advised, on returning to India, that there was a paperwork discrepancy with Rehan Ahmed’s visa. The local authorities at Rajkot Airport were supportive, enabling Rehan 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.” – an ECB official said.