Cricket

Mohammad Amir cleared for Essex stint after visa application approved

Mohammad Amir is expected to be named in Essex’s squad for Thursday night’s game against Hampshire, after his application for a UK sporting visa was belatedly approved.

Amir had signed for the majority of the Vitality Blast group stage, but his paperwork was delayed, leaving the club “extremely frustrated” as he missed two fixtures he had been expected to play.

John Faragher, the club’s chairman, said the hold-up was an “unforeseen circumstance”, and that Essex were in close contact with the Home Office.

And ESPNcricinfo understands his application has now been approved. Amir tweeted a picture of himself at Chelmsford on Tuesday, with the caption “Back to work”.

Amir has regularly been left frustrated by hold-ups to his visas when playing in the UK, with several factors complicating the process.

Ahead of Pakistan’s Test series in England in 2016, there had been concerns as to whether he would be granted a UK visa, on account of his six-month jail sentence relating to the 2010 spot-fixing case.

In the same year, Amir married a British citizen of Pakistani origin, and has since had an application approved for a spousal visa – though this alone is not sufficient to make a holder eligible to play professional sport in the country.

In 2018, Amir’s departure ahead of the Test series against Ireland and England was again delayed by a week, though he did arrive in time to play in the first game of the tour.

Last week, Amir announced his retirement from Test cricket at the age of 27, in order to focus on white-ball cricket and ultimately prolong his international career.

Essex have started underwhelmingly in the Vitality Blast, with a win against Surrey, defeats at Middlesex and Kent, and a no-result again Gloucestershire.

They will also hope to bring Jamie Porter into their squad for Thursday, who played a Second XI game on Tuesday as part of his return from a back spasm suffered on England Lions duty.

Article source: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1196165.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

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