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September 13, 2005
Duncan Fletcher has been granted British citizenship after 15 years of trying after Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, stepped in to review his application. All it took was an Ashes series victory, although the Home Office are saying it is just a "happy coincidence" that it occured the day after England's 2-1 series triumph.
The cries for Fletcher to be given a British passport had grown increasingly vocal during the summer as England got closer and closer to regaining the Ashes. However, his application was rejected because he spends more than three months of the year outside the UK.
Fletcher, 56, qualifies for British citizenship as both his parents and all four grandparents were born in the UK. But he had been caught out by the small print which says those applying must have lived in Britain for five years, with no more than 450 days outside of the county, including 90 within the past year.
But Home Office sources confirmed that it was discovered at least half of his time outside the UK was spent touring overseas with England. A spokesman said: "It is right to say the home secretary used his discretionary powers and it was decided Mr Fletcher deserved to be granted citizenship." Fletcher must now attend a citizenship ceremony to confirm his new status.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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