A young Hailsham cricketer who was deported to Bangladesh despite a strong public campaign is said to be finding his feet in the country.
Bokthiar Rahman came to Britain when he was 12 years old. Seven years later, in June of last year, he was sent back to his country of birth after his application for a UK passport was refused.
A campaign to stop Bok being deported, started by his teammates at Hailsham Cricket Club, gathered immense support, with many concerned for his welfare in a country which had become foreign to him following years growing up in the UK.
However, nine months down the line, and Bok has managed to locate part of his family and is set to start an education course in a local college, studying cricket.
Rob Wilkinson, director of cricket at Hailsham Cricket Club, said: “Regretfully, Bok was deported to Bangladesh, a country he had not been back to for seven years and for which he had no significant support network.
“Nine months later, Bok has managed to locate part of his family and is living with his Uncle in Sylhet, in North East Bangladesh. In a few weeks, he will be starting an educational course at Sylhet University, where he will have the opportunity to study, play and coach cricket.
“It is an absolute credit to Bok that despite his young age, he has maturely handled an extremely difficult change in his life.”
During his seven years in the UK, Bok fully immersed himself into community life, including playing for Hailsham Cricket Club, studying at a local school and dedicating his own free time to volunteer by coaching the junior cricketers between the ages of 6 -16.
Those who knew Bok described him as a happy and kind young man who was always willing to go out of his way to support others. His contribution to the community was acknowledged by the 4,000 people who signed the online petition, as well as countless individuals offering money or expertise to help his legal case for staying in the country.
Bok is in regular contact with his family and friends in the UK and has said: “I would like to thank everyone at Hailsham Cricket Club and all the local community for the fundraising and petitions they created to help me.
“The help I got was amazing and massively helped me at a hard time, please stay in touch and wishing everyone the best for 2016.”
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