Welcome news for the Lord’s Taverners John Bright Trophy. Ross Reyburn, who runs Birmingham’s leading corporate cricket tournament on behalf of his club Moseley Ashfield CC, has escaped being classed as an illegal immigrant.
Born in Toronto, Canada, the former Birmingham Post journalist was smuggled into Britain at the age of four by his parents in 1950 and has lived here ever since.
But unwisely he retained a Canadian passport as it allowed him entry into the United States without a visa.
With the recent tightening of border controls, passport officials quite correctly pointed out his passport offers no evidence he is entitled to live in Britain.
And a senior UK Border Agency official warned him a year ago he could be deported to Canada if he re-enters Britain with his existing passport despite the fact he has been married to his Birmingham-born wife for more than 30 years and has two children born in the city.
Thanks to his local Labour MP Roger Godsiff lobbying on his behalf, Reyburn has finally been able to get an indefinite leave to remain in the UK stamp on his passport for a £200 payment.
But it has taken him four months to persuade the UK Border Agency that he has been settled in the UK since January 1, 1973.
Not satisfied with letters from Birmingham Post owners Trinity Mirror Group, former Post arts editor Terry Grimley and QC friend Peter Haynes from St Philips Chambers stating that he has lived in Birmingham since 1974, the Border Agency wrote back on March 16 and asked Reyburn to “provide official documents for each year from 1964 to 2003” to show he had been “living continuously in the UK”.
Fortunately since then a state pension forecast letter sent to Reyburn in 2004 appears to have satisfied the agency he is entitled to say in the UK.
Maybe things would have been sorted out more quickly if he had sent his Centro pensioner’s bus pass to the agency back in January.
Despite enduring Reyburn’s somewhat eccentric umpiring style that involves regularly passing comments on play, DTZ continued their impressive form in the trophy’s “social” group with their second successive victory.
Solicitors Mills & Reeve scored a respectable 142/9 with John Tickle (43) and Michael Whatley (38 retd) their main run scorers while the later order failed to cope with the interestingly varied deliveries of Jon Webb (4-24).
Then consistent batting ensured a comfortable victory for the real estate advisers after a valuable 2nd wicket stand from Will Clarke (26) and Tom Burn (19).
Unfortunately earlier last week, No.5 Chambers had to forfeit their match against the Worcester side Mainstay Group as their team was too badly depleted by legal duties.
Tuesday May 17 – Mainstay Group v No5 Chambers. Forfeit win for Mainstay Group.
Thursday May 19 – Mills & Reeve 142/9 in 16 overs (J Tickle 43, M Whatley 38 rtd, J Webb 4-24, E Barrett 2-11, M Homer 1-13, J Taite 1-13) DTZ 145/4 in 14 overs (W Clarke 26, A Towson 22*, T Burn 19, M Homer 19, M Griffiths 1-6). DTZ won by 6 wkts.