Yesterday, England’s young leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed encountered an unexpected hurdle upon re-entering India for the third Test match against the home team. Immigration officials at Rajkot’s Hirasar airport stopped and were questioning him due to an issue with his visa.
The crux of the problem lay in Ahmed’s type of visa. He reportedly possessed a single-entry visa, which is permissible for one arrival in India. As the England team had previously left the country for a break in Abu Dhabi after the second Test in Visakhapatnam, this visa became invalid for his return. This incident highlights the importance of obtaining the correct visa type for travel plans and the potential consequences of overlooking visa regulations.
This is not the first time that the English contingent has encountered a visa issue during an ongoing tour. Earlier, Shoaib Bashir had been left stranded in UAE as his visa formalities had not been completed.
Temporary visa comes to England’s rescue
Rehan Ahmed was ultimately granted entry into India thanks to swift action by officials who granted him a two-day temporary visa. In the meantime, the England team has been asked to obtain a new visa. Fortunately for the tourists, the situation won’t impede his participation in the third Test. This timely resolution ensures the young spinner can showcase his talent and potentially impact the crucial match, keeping the series exciting for both sides.
Had Ahmed been denied entry, it would have served as a huge blow for the Ben Stokes-led side as they have already lost the services of their lead spinner, Jack Leach, who has returned home due to an injury. As such, England’s bowling attack, especially the spin side of it, is extremely inexperienced.
England will now be looking to wind up their preparations for the third Test of the 5-match series which will commence on Thursday, February 15. Having won the first Test in Hyderabad, the visitors were handed a huge defeat in Visakhapatnam and so, the series is evenly poised at 1-1.