Thursday 4 September 2008 

Shoaib Akhtar Denied Chance To Play For Surrey

Pakistani pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar has been denied the chance to play for Surrey in the remaining matches in the County Championship after work permit and visa problems put paid to the move.

Akhtar, who has previously played for Worcestershire, Durham and Somerset, had obtained a work permit but his visa did not allow him to enter the country as a professional cricketer.

However, Shoaib, who was turned back at Heathrow airport, plans to return with the correct documentation next week.

"I had got a work permit but apparently you also need to have a work visa for that," he said.

"I had a multiple visit visa so I had to come back. Now the documents are complete and I will hopefully fly out on Friday."

Surrey lie bottom of Division One and had hoped to field Shoaib in the match against Kent at Canterbury, which starts today, as a replacement for current overseas player Matthew Nicholson.

©Cricket World 2008