Airport authorities in Islamabad on Sunday claimed to have deported former Australia batsman Dean Jones because of an expired visa, but Jones himself insisted that he had to return home because of incomplete documents.
Jones, who has been named head coach of the Islamabad United team in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), landed at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport early on Sunday only to be reportedly told that his Pakistan visa had expired.
“But we found out that he didn’t have a valid visa to enter Pakistan and we have deported him as per immigration laws,” an official in the immigration department at the airport told PTI.
Jones reached Islamabad to take part in the players draft to be held for the five franchises on Monday and Tuesday in Lahore. Sources said that Jones had tried to contact the Islamabad franchise owners and the Pakistan Cricket Board to help him resolve the visa issue but was told he didn’t have a valid visa.
Jones is among a list of foreign coaches signed up by the PSL franchises for the tournament to be held in the UAE from February 4. Jones has visited Pakistan in the past for commentary assignments and recently also appeared as an expert for the state-owned television channel.
“He didn’t realise that his visa had expired for his stay in Pakistan. Once he has a valid visa he can come back,” the immigration official said.
But Jones claimed on his twitter account that he had a valid visa for Pakistan but his documents were incomplete. Jones said he was getting the documents completed in Dubai, from where he reached Islamabad and would be returning to Lahore soon.
Ok cricket fans.. My paperwork for Pakistan Visa wasn't complete due to recent change in VIsa policy. I have Visa.. NOT DEPORTED as reported— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) December 20, 2015
I am arriving in Lahore tonight. I WAS NOT DEPORTED! Media... Please get the facts right guys.— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) December 20, 2015
The former Australian player claimed he was not deported but had to return to complete his documents.
The former Australian batsman is already facing resistance from some former Pakistan players who have questioned his appointment in the PSL, pointing out he was suspected of fixing even by the Australian cricket authorities who then quietly sidelined him from the national team.