February 22, 2024

England’s ongoing Test tour of India has been full of ups and downs. The visitors arrived in the sub-cotinent without spinner Shoaib Bashir, who had to fly back to England from the United Arab Emirates to sort out his visa issue. Despite Bashir’s absence, England managed to pull off a huge surprise in the series-opener, beating India by 28 runs in Hyderabad. Bashir’s visa issue was resolved before the start of the second Test and he went on to make his debut, only for England to lose the game in Visakhapatnam by 106 runs.

After India levelled the series earlier this month, the England players left for the UAE for an extended break.

However, on their return to India, spinner Rehan Ahmed was stopped from leaving the airport in Rajkot as he only had a single-entry visa.

Now, England pacer Ollie Robinson has revealed that even he had a visa related problem before the team’s departure to Hyderabad for the first Test.

Robinson revealed that he only received his visa on the morning of England’s team Hyderabad-bound flight due to an error from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

“He (Wayne Bentley, England’s manager) said, ‘your visa has been denied’ or something. 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 said on his podcast, Chatting Balls.

Robinson is yet to feature in the series with England playing one pacer in both games so far. While Mark Wood played in Hyderabad, veteran James Anderson replaced him for the game in Vizag.

Speaking on Rehan’s visa issue, England vice-captain Ollie Pope hoped that the issue will be resolved ahead of the match, beginning on Thursday.

“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.

(With PTI Inputs)

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