Comedian and radio host Mick Molloy has taken a cheeky dig at Marcus Harris after Usman Khawaja was left behind as he waited for visa approval for the Tour of India. On Wednesday, the Pakistan-born batter was left stranded after he revealed he was waiting on visa approval to enter India after the rest of the squad travelled on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Khawaja took to social media to claim he was 'stranded'. On Thursday morning, India’s High Commissioner to Australia Manpreet Vohra revealed that Khawaja's visa had eventually been “issued and collected from our Consulate General in Melbourne”.
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“Let’s have a great #BorderGavaskarTrophy series!” Vohra said. Khawaja departed from Sydney airport on Thursday morning and will link up with the rest of the Aussie Test squad in India.
However, on Wednesday night, Molloy couldn't help but take a cheeky dig at Khawaja's teammate, Harris, over the incident. Speaking on Channel 7's The Front Bar, Molloy joked that Khawaja may have been struggling to get a visa to travel to India because of his form.
"They've just given their official reason, this is from the Indian consulate, apparently his batting average is too high," Molloy joked. "They have said if he is prepared to nick a few early, they will consider."
He then brought Harris into the fold. "They are happy, however, to give Marcus Harris a visa," Molloy said.
Harris hasn't played for Australia since he was dropped during the 2022 Ashes series. The 30-year-old has been playing in the Big Bash since the beginning of 2023.
🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨
India has revealed their demands regarding Usman Khawaja's visa for the upcoming Test series against Australia 🤯 pic.twitter.com/DM8x8uBQ7O
— The Front Bar (@thefrontbar7) February 1, 2023
Usman Khawaja's visa issues
Khawaja has had previous issues entering India due to visa delays. In 2011 he vented his frustrations that he hadn't permitted to enter India to play in the T20 Champions League for NSW because he was not born in Australia. However he has been cleared to enter the country in other formats on other occasions.
He toured with the Test team in 2013 and also represented Rising Pune Supergiant in the 2016 edition of the IPL. The Queensland player also toured India with Australia A in 2018, and went again with the national ODI team in 2019.
The visa process for entry into India usually asks applicants whether they or their parents are of Pakistani origin. Approval into India can be often be complex and time-consuming, but every other member of Australia's 18-man squad were reportedly granted their visas in early January.
On Wednesday, Khawaja posted a popular meme from Netflix show 'Narcos' on Instagram, along with the hashtags 'stranded', 'dontleaveme', 'standard' and 'anytimenow'.
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