Australia opener Usman Khawaja’s India travel delayed by visa issue

Australia opener Usman Khawaja's India travel delayed by visa issue

SYDNEY: Usman Khawaja’s travel to India for the upcoming Border-Gavaskar trophy has been delayed due to a problem in obtaining a visa.

Khawaja wrote on social media on Wednesday afternoon, not long after a second batch of athletes and support staff departed from Sydney to inform about the delay in his Indian visa.
“Me waiting for my Indian Visa like… #stranded #dontleaveme #standard #anytimenow,” the opener tweeted. As per ESPNcricinfo, some visas were delivered late, but it is unknown whether any other travel arrangements had to be changed.

Khawaja will reportedly depart for Bengaluru on Thursday, according to the current plans. Following the Cricket Australia awards in Sydney on Monday night, when Khawaja was voted Shane Warne Men’s Test Player of the Year, the Australian team left in two groups throughout the course of Tuesday and Wednesday.

Khawaja, who was born in Pakistan, has travelled to India frequently, including the 2013 and 2017 Test tours, where he also faced the identical issue of obtaining a visa.

He was initially refused a visa in 2011 to represent New South Wales in the T20 Champions League, but after protests to the Indian High Commission, the issue was addressed. Despite not having yet played a Test in India, Khawaja is an important cog in the wheel for the Australian top order.

He has scored 1,275 runs at an average of 79.68 since his recall against England in early 2022, including five hundreds. Australia will train in Bengaluru for four days before moving to Nagpur for the first Test, which starts on February 9. Several Aussie players participated in a two-day training in Sydney last week, but Khawaja and other batsmen participating Big Bash League (BBL) refrained from training.

In order to prepare for the series, Australia will be spending time on Bengaluru’s centre wicket where they have been promised that the pitches would be an accurate reflection of what is expected for the upcoming Tests. (ANI)

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