DHAKA: Bangladesh fast bowler Rubel Hossain flew out to join the tour of South Africa on Friday after his departure was delayed by a bizarre case of mistaken identity involving a look-a-like namesake with a criminal record.
Rubel departed nearly a week late after officials proved he was not the unknown man barred by South African authorities, who had the same name, similar personal details and looked identical in his photo.
“We received (from South African authorities) a photo, name and other information and all these things completely matched with Rubel though the person was different,” Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan told reporters.
“(The person) they had banned was not our player Rubel. There was a similar kind of person whose name, date of birth and all other information were similar, which confused them,” he said.
Last week Rubel, who has taken 32 wickets from 24 Tests with one five-wicket haul, was prevented from boarding a flight to South Africa when he was denied immigration clearance.
Because of the delay, Rubel missed a three-day warm-up match at Benoni, but he should be available for the first Test which starts at Potchefstroom on September 28.
The second and final Test will be played in Bloemfontein staring on October 6. Bangladesh lost all four Tests in South Africa by an innings margin during their previous two visits in 2002 and 2008.
They will also play three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals during their month-long tour.