A Bangladeshi student has won the right to remain in the UK - after he declared that his love of cricket proved that he was committed to British life.
And there are now concerns that the controversial ruling could open the floodgates for thousands of foreign students to remain in the UK after completing their college courses.
Abdullah Munawar, 23, who has been studying in London, applied to have his three-year student visa renewed in 2010, but was turned down by the Home Office.
Staying here: Student Abdullah Munawar can remain in Britain following the ruling
However, the accountancy student appealed that ruling, telling the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber that he deserved to remain in the UK because he played cricket at weekends and had also formed friendships with students and work colleagues.
And in what could become a test case, Judge Susan Pitt ruled that the initial refusal of a visa renewal 'amounted to a disproportionate interference with private life that deserved respect'.
Critics claim that the decision could now pave the way for thousands of the 270,00 foreign students currently in Britain to win the right to remain here - because most can easily claim that they have made friends during their stay.
And that view was backed up by Mr Munawar's own legal advisor.
'Although this court's decision is not binding on other judges, there is a possibility to argue the significant points of this case in other appeals. In other words it is a test case.''There is a strong possibility that we will be able to refer back to this case in the future,' Tamij Uddin told the Telegraph.
The decision was condemned by Immigration Minister Damien Green, who accused the courts of 'gold-plating' human rights legislation at the expense of a burgeoning immigration problem. Government has pledged to slash the number of foreigners entering Britain.
'It is unacceptable that the Human Rights Act is being used to prevent the removal of people with no rightto be in this country , and we are changing immigration rules to stop them being abused,' Mr Green told the Telegraph.
And former Cabinet Minister Lord Tebbit described the ruling as 'absurd' adding: 'It appears to me that judges are making up the law as they go along.'
Lord Tebbit caused a storm of protest in the 1980s when he said immigrants could only claim they had integrated into Britain after passing the 'cricket test' - by supporting English national sides in sporting competitions.
Mr Munawar now hopes to get a job with an accountancy firm and has plans to take part in an arranged marriage after his imam lined up a potential bride.