Mountaineers' Indian batsman faces deportation

HARARE – Manicaland Mountaineers’ Indian batsman Mohammad Eqlakh faces deportation back to his native country after overstaying his visa and working without a work permit in Zimbabwe.

Eqlakh, who is a batsman and arrived in the country last month featured in Mountaineers’ three Logan Cup matches against Mashonaland Eagles, Matabeleland Tuskers and Rising Stars without a work permit. He also played in the Pro 50 match against Tuskers.

He was issued with a visitor’s visas upon his arrival in the country and was not supposed to play in a competitive match for the Mutare based side until his paperwork was in order.

The Daily News understands that the 21-year-old right handed batsman was picked up by immigration officials earlier this week and had spent the last few days under detention awaiting his deportation back to India.

Contacted for comment, Assistant Regional Immigration Officer Prosper Kambarami said: “There is an Indian guy who was playing cricket and was taken for prosecution and was expected to appear in court this week.”

Mountaineers administrator Tiri Nyakurimwa could not be drawn into commenting on how they employed a foreign player without making sure he has the necessary paperwork required by Zimbabwean law.

Nyakurimwa said he was not able to comment on the matter since he was driving and would call us back.

However, by the time of going to print, the Mountaineers official had not returned the call while efforts to get hold of him proved fruitless.

Eqlakh had made an instant impact since joining Mountaineers after scoring 30 and 67 in his two Logan Cup innings against Tuskers to mark a decent first-class debut.

The 21-year-old scored only nine runs in his first innings against Rising Stars before going onto to score his maiden century with an unbeaten 153 in the second innings.

In his third Logan Cup match, the Indian national scored 11 and an unbeaten 21 in both innings against Tuskers.

In the limited overs match against the same opposition, he scored only four runs.

In the event that he will be deported, Eqlakh’s saga will leave Mountaineers and Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) in bad light.

It is the prerogative of the franchise to make sure that all their foreign players have the necessary paperwork to be able to abide by the country’s immigration laws. 

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