ISLAMABAD: Dean Jones, former Australian Test cricketer and recently-appointed head coach of Pakistan Super League (PSL) team Islamabad United, arrived in Lahore from Dubai on Sunday evening.
Earlier today when Jones first landed at Islamabad airport he was sent back to Dubai as, according to authorities, he was traveling without valid documents.
Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) officials told Geo News that Jones was travelling from Melbourne to Islamabad. The former cricketer was now allowed to enter and sent back after landing at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport early Sunday without the required visa or legal travel documents, they said.
“Dean Jones was coming via Dubai. One document was missing. When he came here he realized he did not have the required letter,” Hamid told Geo News, saying the incident happened due to ‘a communication gap’ which “can happen anywhere at any time”.
Later, Jones’ documents were completed and he landed in Lahore this evening.
Not deported, claimed Jones
FIA sources said Jones was deported from the Islamabad airport, but Jones refuted the claim in a tweet sent shortly afterwards, saying he did have a visa and that he was not deported.
Jones claimed his “paperwork for Pakistan Visa wasn’t complete due to recent change in Visa policy.”
“I am arriving in Lahore tonight,” he said in another message from his official Twitter account.
54-year-old Jones, who announced last week that he had been signed for Islamabad United, was expected to attend the unveiling ceremony of the team’s logo today.
“I’ve just signed as the head coach for the Islamabad United team and I look forward to seeing the draft and picking some fantastic players for our team,” he said in a post on his Facebook page last week.
The players draft for the league is scheduled to place in Lahore on Monday and Tuesday.
The first edition of the PSL Twenty20 league will be held in Dubai and Sharjah from February 4.
Five teams from Karachi, Islamabad, Quetta, Lahore and Peshawar will compete in the league, designed on the lines of the Indian Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash.
Jones played 52 Tests and 164 one-day internationals for Australia between 1984 to 1994 and is currently a widely-traveled cricket commentator.
Jones also landed in trouble in 2006 during a series in Sri Lanka when he described South African batsman Hashim Amla, a Muslim, as looking “like a terrorist” due to his long beard.
Jones was sacked by Ten Sports as a commentator for the remark, for which he apologised.