India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara’s inception for English county Sussex has been obstructed by visa problems.
Sussex had anticipated to have Pujara present for their opening County Championship game at home to Nottinghamshire commencing on Thursday.
However delays in issuing him with a visa mean he will not be available to the south coast club till next week at the earliest.
“Securing overseas players has been tremendously difficult in the current climate,” stated Sussex performance director Keith Greenfield in a statement.
“We renegotiated the initial Pujara contract so he could return for more County Championship and Royal London 50-over matches, and this subsequently changed the visa requirements.”
He appended, “On top of this, the Ukraine crisis has meant that the Home Office (British interior ministry) has redirected their resources to help with the displacement of Ukrainian citizens.”
“We were expecting Pujara to be with us last weekend but can now confirm he will be here at the back end of this week.”
Pujara will still be present for five rounds of Championship cricket out of the first six fixtures as concurred, beginning with Derbyshire next week.
He will also be coming back later in the season for the Royal London Cup, and some more four-day matches.
Sussex coach Ian Salisbury, the former England leg-spinner, stated, “Of course I am extremely disappointed that we will not have a player of Pujara’s experience and quality to be available for the opening day of the season, but we must move on and now focus on the game ahead of us.”
Pujara was signed in place of Travis Head following the Australia batsman asked to be released from his Sussex agreement because of augmented international commitments, as well as the fact he and his wife are expecting their first child.
Pujara, who has stroked more than 6,500 Test runs, has previously had sessions in the English domestic game with Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.