In a setback for England’s cricket team, the dynamic spinner Shoaib Bashir faced exclusion from the first Test against India due to unforeseen visa complications. Bashir hailing from Pakistani heritage, encountered delays in his visa application, preventing his timely arrival with the squad in Hyderabad. He was compelled to return home from the Abu Dhabi training camp, putting his Test debut on hold for now. The English camp awaits resolution as the series opener approaches in Hyderabad on Thursday.
The England and Wales Cricket Board’s optimism for a resolution with the Board of Control for Cricket in India regarding Shoaib Bashir’s visa predicament has been dampened. Reports from the British media in India suggest that Bashir was instructed to return to London for the correct paperwork from the Indian High Commission. The England camp had anticipated assistance from their Indian counterparts in resolving the issue.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board had previously raised concerns with the International Cricket Council, citing delays in visa processing for the recent World Cup in India. The situation mirrors a diplomatic strain, affecting not only cricket squads but also journalists amid the complex relationship between the two nations.
Ben Stokes ‘frustrated’ over Shoaib Bashir’s visa conundrum
England’s captain Ben Stokes expressed his frustration over the prolonged delay in Shoaib Bashir’s visa approval. Stokes, voicing his concerns, highlighted the inconvenience caused by the ongoing visa issues, leaving Bashir’s participation in the series hanging in the balance. The ECB’s efforts to resolve the matter before the crucial series opener have faced unexpected challenges.
“Especially as captain, I find it particularly frustrating. We announced that squad in mid-December, and now Bash finds himself without a visa to get here. I am more frustrated for him. I didn’t want this type of situation to be his first experience of what it’s like to be in the England Test team. I feel for him. But he’s not the first cricketer to go through this, I have played with a lot of people who have had the same issues. I find it frustrating that we have picked a player and he’s not with us because of visa issues,” Stokes was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.