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    After visa issues resurfaced, England are awaiting the availability of Rehan Ahmed for the third Test
After visa issues resurfaced, England are awaiting the availability of Rehan Ahmed for the third Test
Rehan Ahmed via skysports.com

After visa issues resurfaced, England are awaiting the availability of Rehan Ahmed for the third Test

The player was granted a two-day emergency visa after an issue with their single-entry visa was identified upon their return from Abu Dhabi.

England are awaiting confirmation that Rehan Ahmed will be available to play in the third Test of their series in India this week. The ECB has admitted that a "paperwork discrepancy" caused a delay at Rajkot airport, which has been resolved by the issue of a temporary visa.

Rehan was initially prevented from re-entering India on Monday night after England's mid-series break in Abu Dhabi. He had only a single-entry visa. Following a delay, the local authorities found a temporary solution that enabled Rehan Ahmed to travel with the rest of the touring party to the team's hotel.

An ECB spokesperson stated on Tuesday that there was a paperwork discrepancy with Ahmed's visa upon returning to India. However, the local authorities at Rajkot Airport were supportive and allowed Ahmed to enter on a temporary visa. The correct visa is expected to be processed and issued in the coming days.

Rehan, the leg-spinning all-rounder, trained with his teammates at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Tuesday. He is expected to receive clearance to remain in India shortly and appears set to retain his place in England's team for the third Test, which starts on Thursday, after taking six wickets in the second.

The problem arose when Shoaib Bashir's arrival in India was delayed by a week due to the late issuance of his visa. As a result, he missed the first Test in Hyderabad.

The Pakistan-born Bashir finally arrived on 28 January, the fourth day of the first Test, and stayed on in Abu Dhabi, where England were training ahead of the tour, before returning to the UK to have his visa endorsed. The second Test in Visakhapatnam saw him make his debut.

Like Bashir, Rehan was born in England and is of Pakistani descent, but had no initial problems getting into the country as he was granted a visa in October as a stand-in for England's World Cup squad. The delay he experienced appears to have been the result of a clerical error by the ECB. It is a problem that should not have arisen.

Ollie Robinson, who has yet to play in the series, revealed on Monday that he did not receive his visa until the morning of England's original flight from Abu Dhabi to Hyderabad last month, having been told by team manager Wayne Bentley the night before that another paperwork error had caused a delay.

Robinson said on his podcast, Chatting Balls, that Bentley said, 'your visa has been denied' or something. There was an error at the ECB. It did not pass due to a wrong initial or letter.  Later, Wayne sent a message saying 'visa's here', which was a relief for Rehan who was worried about the delay and the possibility of staying for another night or two.

As a result, Ollie Pope, England's vice-captain, described Rehan's situation as 'very frustrating' on Tuesday. He didn’t know who was to blame. It's frustrating, but hopefully, it will all be sorted by the end of the day. He's cleared for the next game and the rest of the trip. It's a bit unfortunate. But it'll all be sorted out.

That sounds positive. Rehan was already training. Pope believed the matter was resolved promptly yesterday. However, the process was not visible to the public. Pope hopes that it will be resolved within the next day. The player is optimistic. His teammates are supportive. He is happy to be training here.

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