Pakistan-born USA cricketer Fahad Babar returns after Trump's immigration ban

Pakistan-born USA cricketer Fahad Babar returns after Trump’s immigration ban

Fahad Babar
Fahad Babar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Karachi-born USA cricketer Fawad Babar has taken the early flight home midway through the Regional Super50 series in Barbados following the ban on Muslim immigrants from seven countries by incumbent American president Donald Trump. In spite of being a green card holder as well as Pakistan not being one of the countries on the ban list, Babar has returned to the United States on the recommendation of his lawyers, something that has seen the ICC Americas’ team lose a player.

“I had no issues coming in and out,” Babar told ESPNcricinfo on Friday. “But there’s always that fear which bothers you. So that’s the issue. Other than that I’ve had no other problems.”

“Cricket is a mental game and you have to be mentally fit enough to play the game and I think it affected me a little bit in my performance,” Babar said. “I worked really hard to get into the ICC Americas team. I had to perform and prove myself before coming here. I was in Sri Lanka to gain experience to work hard towards this. Unfortunately, it’s not my time right now. That’s what I can say and I will work hard in the future to get another opportunity. It’s disappointing but it’s life and you have to be strong sometimes to get through this.”

Babar also bid a tearful goodbye to the side. “I worked really hard to get into the ICC Americas team. I had to perform and prove myself before coming here. I was in Sri Lanka to gain experience to work hard towards this. Unfortunately, it’s not my time right now. That’s what I can say and I will work hard in the future to get another opportunity. It’s disappointing but it’s life and you have to be strong sometimes to get through this.”

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Fahad Babar also had an issue when he had to go through secondary screening, something that has certainly been a product of the tightened immigration system. His lawyer William McLean also released a statement on the same.

“He’s [Fahad] from Pakistan which is close to those other countries and might be next on the chopping block,” McClean told ESPNcricinfo. “If he’s out of the US when they say, ‘okay we’re extending the ban to Pakistani people’, Fahad will be barred. He will not be allowed to come back into the United States even if he’s traveling for cricket and that’s what we’re scared of.”

“The only thing that happened to him, in my opinion, that shouldn’t have happened when he came back to the United States is that they put him in secondary inspection,” McClean said. “A lot of people have to go through that but there was no reason for him to have to go through secondary inspection and they made him go do that anyway. Secondary inspection is a room with no windows and a locked door.