02 June 2009

UK visa application problems for Australian cricketer

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After being stunted by UK visa application troubles, Australian cricketer Stuart Clark will not be playing for county cricket club Gloucestershire, reports The Telegraph.

The 33-year-old pace bowler will not have his UK visa application approved in time to play two County Championship matches for Gloucestershire and will have to remain in Australia to train for the incumbent Ashes series.

The move to get Clark in on a UK visa to play for the club was a controversial move, as it would have given him valuable match practice in the lead up to the Ashes. 

Chief executive Tom Richardson said that the club knew there would be trouble having his UK visa application approved but that they needed a top player to win the matches.

"Yes, we want England to win the Ashes too, but we have to focus on getting a really good cricketer in here. If he didn't come to us he'd go to someone else," Richardson said.

"We knew there would be risks involved with the visa and we have said this from the outset."

Clark said this has nothing to do with the England Cricket Board not wanting him to not playing in the matches in the lead up to the Ashes series, but that his UK visa application was not ready in time.

"It would have been preferable to play a few county games, so in that sense it's a bit disappointing," he told reporters.

"But it's not to be, so I'll just head up to the centre of excellence to get a bit more bowling in."

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa application and immigration services.

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