Tight deadline for Warwicks on Yousuf

Warwickshire have named Mohammad Yousuf in their provisional squad for their County Championship opener against Somerset at Taunton, starting on April 14, but face a tight deadline to get the former Pakistan batsman registered in time for him to play.

Yousuf, who has signed a contract to be Warwickshire’s overseas player for the first six weeks of the season, has been awaiting the return of his passport from Dubai where his application for a visa was processed.

He is not due to be in possession of the necessary paperwork until April 12 but he then intends to catch the first available flight to England. The problem for Warwickshire is that they do not yet know when Yousuf is due to arrive in Birmingham.

Until he is in the country they cannot process the necessary paperwork that is required for him to obtain a registration which will allow him to face Somerset.

Warwickshire remain hopeful that Yousuf will arrive in England on the morning of April 13 which will give them an afternoon to send the necessary documentation to Lord’s to obtain a registration. But a later arrival in England will make it difficult for Warwickshire to obtain clearance for Yousuf to face Somerset.

It is not the first time that Warwickshire have faced delays and bureaucratic difficulties in obtaining clearance for their overseas players.

Eight years ago Australian left-armer seamer Michael Clark had to leave the country and spend the day in Amsterdam before returning to Birmingham where his visa was waiting for him.

A tightening up of procedures means that is one of many loopholes that have been addressed, making it increasingly difficult for counties to find shortcuts in the visa application process.

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