In a move which will delight cricket fans across the country, Mitchell Starc, the least impressive of Australia’s young fast bowlers, was detained at Heathrow today and ultimately sent back to Australia. His Yorkshire debut will have to wait.
What was his crime I hear you ask? Although we initially suspected he was up to his eyeballs in a vegemite smuggling ring, these rumours (which were based on nothing other than my own imagination) proved baseless. It was just a visa cock up.
None of this has improved the mood of Yorkshire’s chairman Colin Graves, who hit the headlines this week during the Ajmal Shahzad fiasco; Shahzad has since stuck two fingers up at the Yorkshire fans by joining the dark side – aka Lancashire. Well, at least he’ll get division one cricket, eh.
Somewhat predictably, Graves has had a bit of a paddy in the media again – blaming ‘bad agents’ and comically refusing to pay for Starc’s airfare back to Britain next week.
We don’t blame him really. It’s all a bit embarrassing. Yorkshire had wanted Starc to play in their first XI this week. Now they’ll have to wait a few days extra – and when their overseas star does arrive, he’ll probably be more jetlagged than a koala that’s drunk eighty seven cans of XXXX.
Interestingly, news has just reached us that several English counties are desperately checking the visas of their own Australian players. Indeed, Worcestershire and Glamorgan are going over the small-print with a fine tooth comb – desperately hoping they can get Michael Klinger and Moises Henriques deported too. They haven’t mustered a single decent innings between them this season.