Pakistani-born Australian cricketer being denied Indian visa

Melbourne, Aug 9: Pakistan-born Australian batsman Usman Khawaja said Tuesday that he was being denied visa to India for September’s Champions League Twenty20 tournament because of his country of birth.

Venting out his anger on Twitter, Khawaja said: ‘Need to sort their issues out. Refusing to let me travel to India as an Australian, because I wasn’t born here. Wow..’

Cricket Australia (CA) also confirmed that Khawaja’s visa was being held up by officials at the Indian High Commission but they were confident that the New South Wales batsmen would get the visa for the tournament that starts September 23.

Khawaja, the first Muslim to play for Australia and a qualified pilot, is among the 20 probables for the New South Wales Twenty20 side, of which 15 will be sent for the tournament. He is also part of the 15-member Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka. The three Tests will be played from August 31 to September 20.

CA spokesperson Philip Pope admitted that Khawaja’s application was being held up by Indian officials but said that both national board and Cricket New South Wales are trying to seek the details behind the stoppage with Khawaja’s application.

‘I am confident this issue would be resolved soon – given our history and our relationship with India,’ he said.

IANS