'#dontleaveme' - Australia batter misses flight to India after visa issue
Usman Khawaja was the unfortunate touring batter to miss his flight to India on Wednesday (February 1) ahead of the forthcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The in-form Australian opener was denied the chance to travel to the Indian shores with the rest of the Pat Cummins-led squad due to visa issues.
Despite limited time at hands for the matter to resolve and for him to start off the series with the opening Test in Nagpur, starting February 9, Khawaja made a joke about his situation, posting a popular meme on his Instagram handle.
It was through this post that he initially confirmed the developments around his India touring plans, stating that he continues to wait for his visa to be issued for what is perhaps the most critical assignment in what happens to be his successful comeback trail.
Khawaja awaiting visa clearance for BGT 2023
Taking to Instagram on Wednesday morning, when the rest of the Australia touring party flew to India, Usman Khawaja posted a popular meme featuring an old man sitting on a garden chair and staring into the ground in sadness.
He captioned it: "Me waiting for my Indian Visa like… #stranded #dontleaveme #standard #anytimenow" - which only confirmed his visa issue and announced to the cricket fans that he hasn't immediately travelled to India.
A Cricket Australia (CA) spokesperson said, according to Reuters, that the Pakistan-born left-hand batter is the only Australia player selected for the Test series not to have gotten his visa on time and travel to India on February 1.
The spokesperson said, however, that the board expects the problem to be resolved by Thursday (February 2) and for Khawaja to finally board a flight to India that night. He would be travelling with some members of the support staff, who were scheduled for a delayed departure.
Australia need Khawaja to retain his successful ways with the bat if they are to have a chance to clinch the Test series in India. The experienced batter has been in tremendous form ever since his comeback to the side last January. From one New Year's Test to the other, he has made 1,295 runs in his last 12 games, averaging 79.68 with five centuries.