Charlestown import Callum Jackson thrown in Villawood, sent home over visa

Callum Jackson CHARLESTOWN cricket club’s English recruit Callum Jackson was refused entry to Australia and spent a night in Villawood Detention Centre before being sent home after a visa wrangle this week.

The 20-year-old Sussex wicketkeeper, pictured left, flew into Sydney Airport on Monday afternoon to begin his second summer with Charlestown in Newcastle district cricket.

But he was detained at the airport due to an incorrect visa.

Jackson was then transferred to Villawood Detention Centre, before he was released on Tuesday night to board a flight back to London.

It is understood Jackson had a tourist visa and was told he needed to return home to apply for a working visa.

Jackson was due to live with Newcastle cricket great Greg Arms, whose son Daniel plays for Charlestown.

‘‘As far as we know we’re expecting himto be back as soon as the visa is approved,’’ Arms said.

‘‘It’s just one of those things that there was an irregularity.’’

The Herald attempted to contact Jackson on Wednesday through social media, but he spent the majority of the day flying to London and had not replied at the time of publication.

The former England under-19 gloveman, who made his first-class debut for Sussex in a tour game against Australia on last year’s Ashes tour, was a revelation in his debut season for Charlestown.

He scored 484 runs at an average of 60.5 to finish dual winner of the Herald cricketer of the year award with Merewether’s former NSW Blues quick Mark Cameron.

Jackson’s return to Australia was delayed due to finger surgery in England four weeks ago.

Before the visa problems, Charlestown had hoped Jackson would play in their round-five game against Stockton-Raymond Terrace on November 8.

Charlestown president Chris Oliver was busy throughout Tuesday night attempting to sort through the visa impasse with Sussex and an immigration lawyer in London.

What happens next will hinge on the Englishman’s desire to return to Australia.

‘‘I’d say we’re 48 hours away on deciding if it’s tenable that he re-applies and comes back,’’ Oliver said.

‘‘At this stage we’re pessimistic about the outcome.’’


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