IND vs ENG: Shoaib Bashir granted visa, set to join England squad over weekend

After much delay, England’s off-spinner Shoaib Bashir has finally got his visa papers and will be traveling to India over the weekend to join the England squad, confirmed the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) on Wednesday, January 24. Notably, Bashir had to return to the UK from the UAE, where England had assembled for the pre-series training session, to finalize the process.

The 20-year-old Surrey-born cricketer had been reportedly facing issues due to his Pakistan heritage, which has troubled some international players in the past as well. After staying in the UAE with ECB’s director of Cricket Operations Stuart Hooper, Bashir had to fly back to London, where his passport was issued and resolved the issue in the Indian High Commission.

“Shoaib Bashir has now received his visa, and is due to travel to join up with the team in India this weekend. We’re glad the situation has now been resolved,” ECB informed on their X handle.

Bashir’s visa issue also grabbed the attention of the British government, which called out the Indian authorities to treat British Citizens fairly during its visa process-according to a report in ESPNCricinfo, the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and the Indian High Commission had assured the ECB that the matter would be resolved at the earliest.

However, the delay in the issuance meant that Bashir had to miss the first Test of the series beginning on Thursday, January 25 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Having finally got his visa, the 20-year-old will spend a couple of days at home and will join the squad ahead midway through the first Test.