Rajkot, India: England‘s ongoing Test series in India has taken another unexpected turn, with teenage spinner Rehan Ahmed encountering a visa issue upon returning to the country. Despite initial concerns, the England team expresses confidence in resolving the matter and having Ahmed available for the crucial third Test in Rajkot.
Temporary Visa Granted, Multi-Entry Visa Pending
The 19-year-old was initially denied entry at Rajkot Airport on Monday due to holding only a single-entry visa. This differs from the issue faced by teammate Shoaib Bashir earlier, who experienced delays due to his Pakistani heritage. Ahmed, also of Pakistani heritage but born in the UK, possessed an Indian visa from being on standby for the 50-over World Cup. However, with England using electronic visas that aren’t physically stamped, the discrepancy wasn’t identified earlier.
Thanks to supportive local authorities, Ahmed received a temporary two-day visa and has already joined team training in Rajkot. The team spokesperson confirmed they are confident the correct multi-entry visa will be processed and issued soon, allowing him to continue preparations for the crucial third Test starting Thursday.
Ahmed Key Figure in Tightly Contested Series
Ahmed, already England’s youngest cricketer in all three formats, has made a significant impact in the series, claiming eight wickets across the first two Tests. His presence is crucial for England as they seek to regain control of the series currently tied at 1-1.
Adding to England’s bowling concerns, senior spinner Jack Leach has been ruled out of the remaining Tests due to a knee injury. While this opens up another potential spot for Ahmed, the team has opted not to call up a replacement, choosing to trust their current resources.
Time Running Out for Visa Resolution
With the third Test starting in two days, time is of the essence for resolving Ahmed’s visa issue. While the temporary permission allows him to train and join the team, a multi-entry visa is necessary for official participation in the match. England remains hopeful of a positive outcome, but uncertainties linger until the visa situation is definitively settled.
Fans eagerly await further developments as the visa hurdle adds another layer of intrigue to the already captivating Test series. Will Ahmed’s talent be showcased in the crucial third Test, or will visa complications sideline him? The coming days will hold the answer.