Home office threatens school stalwart September 21, 2007

Cricket coach faces deportation

Cricinfo staff

The former West Indies and Kent cricketer, Hartley Alleyne, an acclaimed coach at St Edmund's School in Canterbury, faces deportation within 28 days after being refused a work permit by the Home Office.

Alleyne, who completed an NVQ in sports coaching to satisfy immigration officials, is being backed in his bid to stay in the country by Canterbury's MP, Julian Brazier, who has branded the decision "appalling". Brazier is demanding for an urgent meeting with Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne.

"It is utter madness," Brazier told The Kentish Gazette. "Here is a man who has given a great deal to this country and particularly young people and is unique in the experience he provides.

"How can we turn down his application for a work permit when the Government is letting foreign criminals stay in this country and handing out permits to thousands of others who shouldn't be here?

"The decision can be overturned by Mr Byrne and I hope to persuade him to do the right thing."

The school has stood by Mr Alleyne during his appeal, and its staff and pupils are said to be devastated by his impending deportation. He has lived in the UK for 29 years and has an English wife and three children.

"To me England is my home," he told the BBC website, "and Barbados is a place that I return to every now and again for a holiday. I have given so much of myself to this country and have helped to teach kids cricket and help them make a good start in life."