Sportstar reported on Monday that Rehan had been prohibited from re-entering India after England’s mid-series break in Abu Dhabi because he only held a single-entry visa. Following a delay, local authorities were able to come to a short-term solution for the legspinner, with England optimistic the issue will be sorted fully in the next 24 hours. All travelling squad members and support staff were at the team hotel in Rajkot by Monday evening.
Like Bashir, Rehan was born in England and is of Pakistani heritage, but had no initial trouble entering the country because of a visa he had secured in October as a stand-by for England’s 50-over World Cup squad. As such, this is highly likely to have been a clerical oversight by the ECB, given that the white-ball squad had remained in India for the duration of their World Cup campaign, which ended at the group stages.
“The England team has been advised to process the visa again which will be happening in the next two days,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying in the Hindustan Times. “The player was allowed to enter the country with the rest of the team and he will be appearing in practice on Tuesday.”
Either way, it is a problem that should not have arisen given the high-profile nature of Bashir’s ordeal, and the fact England’s six-day break in the UAE between the second and third Test, which begins on Thursday, had been on the card for months.
“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’.”
Rehan has featured in both matches in the series so far, taking eight wickets at 36.37 and scoring 70 runs at 17.80, which included a cameo of 23 at No.3 in England’s failed chase of 399 in the second Test.