Curated By: Aakash Biswas
Last Updated: January 24, 2024, 08:28 IST
Shoaib Bashir troubled by Visa issues
It was unlikely that Bashir would have made his Test debut on Thursday but the frustration for England is that the decision has been taken out of their hands
Uncapped spinner Shoaib Bashir was forced to fly back home to the UK to resolve his visa delay that has prevented him from joining the England squad for the Test series in India, starting Thursday in Hyderabad. The 20-year-old couldn’t accompany his teammates on the flight to India from Abu Dhabi where England had set up a pre-series training camp.
As per British media in India, Bashir had been told to return to London with his passport to receive the correct paperwork at the Indian High Commission. It was unlikely that Bashir would have made his Test debut on Thursday but the frustration for England is that the decision has been taken out of their hands. The visitors would now hope the Somerset off-spinner will return to India over the weekend.
“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. Especially for a young lad, I’m devastated for him,” said England captain Ben Stokes.
“As captain, I find it particularly frustrating. We announced the squad in mid-December and now Bash finds himself without a visa to get here…It’s unfortunate and I’m very frustrated for him. With Bash unfortunately not able to be here, it rules him out of this game,” he added.
England head coach Brendon McCullum said earlier this week he hoped Bashir would arrive in time for the first match of a five-Test series. However, the former New Zealand captain’s optimism was misplaced.
“We’re confident on the back of the help from the BCCI and the Indian government that it will sort itself out pretty quickly,” he said.
The British government has responded to the situation, with a spokesperson for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stating, “We expect India to treat British citizens fairly at all times in its visa processes.” The issues faced by British citizens with Pakistani heritage have been previously raised with the Indian High Commissioner in London.
In Bashir’s absence, England is considering fielding all three available frontline spinners on the expected dry surface in Hyderabad. Fit-again Jack Leach could be joined by leg-spinner Ahmed and uncapped Lancashire left-armer Tom Hartley.
(With Agency Inputs)