Khawaja’s India arrival delayed by visa process

Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja was unable to join his Australian teammates on either of their two flights to India over the past 36 hours as he is still awaiting a visa from the Indian government.

The touring players and support staff departed Australia for India and their initial training base in Bengaluru via two separate flights on Tuesday and Wednesday but Khawaja was not present on either, as his passport and visa had not yet returned from the India high commission.

Players slated to tour India have had their visas in process since early January, leaving Khawaja as the only member of the touring party not to be approved in time.

Khawaja posted on his Instagram account early Wednesday afternoon to indicate he was yet to depart: “Me waiting for my Indian Visa like… #stranded #dontleaveme #standard #anytimenow”

Sources close to the Australian team told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday that all parties were hopeful of a resolution in time for Khawaja to join teammates later this week.

It’s not the first time Khawaja has been delayed in his travel to India, having previously required special intervention to ensure he could travel for the Twenty20 Champions League in 2011.

The visa process for entry to India customarily asks applicants whether they or their parents are of Pakistani origin.

Khawaja has previously made Test tours of India in 2013 and 2017, although he was not selected for a match in either case. This time around he is set to tour as Australia’s leading batter of the past 12 months, winning the Shane Warne trophy for Test player of the year on Monday night.


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