10 May 2012

Australian cricketer deported over UK visa issue

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An Australian cricketer has been forced to miss his debut for his new team after being deported following errors with his UK visa.

UK Visa

Australian fast bowler Mitchel Starc is stuck in Kuala Lumpur while he awaits a decision over his UK visa.

Mitchell Starc, 22, was supposed to make his debut for Yorkshire County Cricket Club yesterday but was detained at Heathrow following errors in his UK visa application.

Starc, a left handed fast bowler, was informed by UK Border Agency officials that he would be required to return to Australia, complete the correct paperwork and return before he can begin his five week loan arrangement with Yorkshire.

It has been reported that Starc had applied for the wrong category of UK visa and not the Tier 5 work permit which would allow him to play professional sport on a temporary basis.

Starc originally blamed Cricket Australia for the mix up, although retracted his comments after Cricket Australia quickly refuted them.

"Mitchell is on annual leave and decided to organise a short term contract with Yorkshire. It has absolutely nothing to do with us," said a Cricket Australia spokesperson.

"We have sent plenty of people to England and know all the requirements. Saying that, we have made it clear that if Mitchell needs our help, we are happy to do that."

Starc is reportedly in Kuala Lumpur waiting to find out whether he will need to return to Australia or can immediately come back to Britain.

"We have followed the correct procedure and it's just unfortunate it couldn't be worked out at their end," said Starc's agent Andrew Fraser.

"It's ludicrous that it has come to this. Common sense should have prevailed, I don't want to discredit anyone, it's just an honest administrative blunder but it's embarrassing for British authorities.

"I am working the phones now trying to sort it out. Hopefully we can turn him around at KL and get him back to England."

Starc has been tweeting his own opinion of the situation, using the social network to retract his comments blaming Cricket Australia and expressing his frustration at the situation:

'Well that's a first! Being deported from England..surely nothing else can go wrong can it?!?!' he tweeted before boarding the plane.

'Visa issue. Incorrect communication from Aus.' He added later. 'Will be straight back to UK ASAP once sorted. In time for next @Yorkshireccc game. 


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