Shoaib Akhtar denied entry to London

September 4th, 2008 - 4:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Sep 4 (IANS) Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar’s bid to return to competitive cricket received a setback when he was sent packing by British immigration chiefs at Heathrow airport for not having a working visa Thursday.Shoaib went to London in his SOS mission for Surrey after being asked to play for the county for the rest of the season.

According to officials, Shoaib’s visa was not valid and despite having a work permit, didn’t have the right documents to play professional cricket in England.

“It is really disappointing,” said Shoaib, who was scheduled to play his first match for Surrey against Kent in Canterbury Thursday.

“I was eagerly looking forward to play for Surrey and will now try again to go to London Saturday if the required documents are complete,” he added.

Surrey chief executive Paul Sheldon said: “We did everything we could to get him here, but it hasn’t worked out. We thought he’d make an impact as he wanted to get his career up and running again.”

The Rawalpindi Express has been out of international action since last December when he spearheaded Pakistan’s attack in a drawn Test against India in Bangalore because of injury or suspension.

Shoaib, who has played 46 Tests and 138 one-day internationals for Pakistan, has represented three counties, Somerset, Worcestershire and Durham. He also signed for Nottinghamshire but did not play for them.

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