The anticipation surrounding the arrival of the Ben Stokes-led England cricket team in Rajkot ahead of the crucial third Test against India turned into a saga of immigration woes as leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed faced a temporary setback upon landing at Hirasar Airport. The chartered flight carrying the England squad made history as the first international flight to land directly in Rajkot, but the excitement was dampened by an unexpected roadblock.
Ahmed, the only member of the 31-man England contingent to encounter visa issues, was detained by immigration officers due to a single-entry visa, which prohibited him from leaving and re-entering India. However, after the intervention of officials and the issuance of a temporary visa, Ahmed was eventually allowed to proceed, with both the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) expressing confidence that the matter would be resolved swiftly.
This incident marked the second visa-related hiccup for England during their tour of India, following off-spinner Shoaib Bashir's earlier ordeal. Despite the setbacks, the England squad, including star all-rounder Ben Stokes, had taken a brief hiatus in Abu Dhabi before returning to India for the impending Test match.
In preparation for the third Test, England is scheduled to conduct their first official practice session on Tuesday at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium. India, meanwhile, had a closed-door session on Monday, gearing up for the upcoming match. The training sessions are crucial for both teams as they aim to fine-tune their strategies and address any lingering concerns.
While India emerged victorious in the previous Test, their preparations have been marred by injury woes and the absence of key players. Despite their recent success, uncertainties loom over the Indian camp, providing an additional layer of intrigue to the highly-anticipated encounter.
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