Still no UK visa for Narsingh Deonarine

(Trinidad Express) West Indies allrounder Narsingh Deonarine will most likely miss the regional team’s warm-up match against England Lions at Northampton, starting tomorrow as he continues to wait for a United Kingdom travel visa in Jamaica.

The West Indies are in England preparing for the three-Test series against the hosts starting on May 17 at Lord’s but left the Caribbean last week without Guyanese duo Deonarine and Assad Fudadin, who were both in Jamaica waiting to get their visas to travel to England, and Marlon Samuels who was taking part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament.

The trio’s absence at the start of the tour meant West Indies had just 11 available players from the 15-man squad to face Sussex in the three-day tour opener last weekend in Hove which was affected by rain with only 34 overs being bowled over the three days. Fast bowler Fidel Edwards was ruled out of that game with a back injury, which he is still nursing.

West Indies team media manager Adriel Richard confirmed via email that Samuels had arrived in England yesterday and that Deonarine and Fudadin were awaiting visas in Jamaica and would travel as soon as they received them.

West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) CEO Ernest Hilaire told the Express yesterday that Fudadin’s visa issues had been resolved and that the 26-year-old left-hander would arrive in England today. He said, though, that Deonarine was less fortunate and is still waiting for his visa to be processed.

Hilaire explained that because of the 2012 Olympic Games being held in London, more stringent procedures for screening persons for a visa to travel to England were put in place.

“The team to go to England was selected during the final Test match (against Australia at the end of April) and the selectors wanted to wait and see how the players performed before finalising the team,” said Hilaire.

“Once we got the team, we applied for visas. Persons from Guyana…have a different process to go through to get their visa to travel to England and because it is an Olympic year, there is a new process and each application has to go through a more stringent process of screening. They even have to go through checks by Interpol. We even sent the players to Jamaica to be interviewed in person,” he added.

“Fudadin got through but Deonarine is still waiting.”

Asked if he knew the reason why Deonarine’s application was taking longer to be processed, Hilaire said he was not in a position to give any details.

“Fudadin and Samuels will be available for the warm-up match. It (Deonarine getting his visa) all depends on the High Commission and what their final position is. There is nothing we can do from this end…we are totally at their mercy,” Hilaire added.

West Indies will tackle the England Lions in a four-day tour match, which is their last warm-up fixture before the start of the Test series.

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