Cricket player acquires UK work permit

01 Jun 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A cricket player for a county team has successfully negotiated UK immigration requirements in order to secure a Tier 1 work permit.

Riki Wessels, a South African player and son of former Australian and South African batsman Kepler Wessels, had previously seen a pause in his career after his UK visa became invalid.

This was due to changes in the way the England and Wales Cricket Board handled the number of Kolpak players in county cricket.

However, Wessels has since renegotiated the UK visa regulations and managed to obtain a Tier 1 UK work permit, usually reserved for high net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs.

The player did this by establishing a company trading in the UK, which sold sports clothing. He then employed a friend to run the business.

Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire director of cricket, commented: "The club have been very thorough in going through the process to be completely comfortable with Riki playing before we selected him for a first team game."

He added that the the club will not do anything to jeopardise the situation, explaining that Wessels has been playing with the second team since early April.

Wessels himself added: "The visa was not issued overnight, it was issued in May last year so I have had it for more than a year.

"It wasn't done as a last minute thing to get me to Notts and playing cricket. It was done last year to find a way to set up a business which a friend of mine is running."