IPL 2022: Moeen Ali gets visa clearance, set to join Chennai Super Kings

IPL 2022: Moeen Ali gets visa clearance, set to join Chennai Super Kings

Moeen was awaiting the visa approval by the Indian High Commission in London, having applied for the same nearly a month ago.

Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

England all-rounder Moeen Ali will not be available for his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings for their opening clash against Kolkata Knight Riders on March 26, despite getting the long-awaited clearance of his travel documents.

Moeen was awaiting the visa approval by the Indian High Commission in London, having applied for the same nearly a month ago. However, he could not get the green light in time to be available for the franchise as early as the opening day of the 15th edition of the IPL.

Cricbuzz confirmed the development on March 24, which understandably has come after a long administrative tussle. “He picked his papers yesterday and is ready to fly,” said his father Munir Ali. “He will arrive in Mumbai in the evening and will straight away go into isolation,” said Kasi Viswanathan, the CEO of the franchise.

“He will not be available for the first game against Kolkata Knight Riders but we are happy that all the uncertainty has ended,” Viswanathan added. Meanwhile, Mooen’s father had earlier termed the inordinate delay in approval “terrible”, not least because his son is a frequent visitor to India.

Equally terrified was Moeen’s management company, Aces Middle East, for whom the delay was “mind-boggling”. “The Indian embassy still hasn’t issued his Visa – even though he has been to India on a number of occasions and always left on time and never overstayed – it’s understood that security checks need to take place but this delay is really mind boggling – anyway we will wait,” they had written in response to CSK’s official handle.

Moeen Ali to miss IPL opener due to Covid-19 protocols

As it stands, though, Moeen will group with the team and, keeping aside any last-minute problem, will be available for the second fixture, which will be a night game at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium against IPL debutants Lucknow Super Giants on March 31.

The reason behind Moeen’s non-availability are the BCCI-laid Covid-19 protocols, which mandate a three-day quarantine for anyone before being allowed into the bio-secure bubble meant for the tournament.

“He is certainly ruled out for the first game,” Viswanathan had confirmed on March 23. “We were confident he would get the papers on Monday (March 21). Even if he gets today (Wednesday, March 23), he can reach only tomorrow (March 24) and go into quarantine. He will miss the first game but we are hoping he gets the visa soon enough.

Moeen was one of CSK’s four pre-auction retentions, as he was kept by the franchise for a sum of INR 8 crore alongside Ravindra Jadeja (INR 16 crore), MS Dhoni (INR 12 crore) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (INR 6 crore).