England’s cricket team suffered a setback as the talented spinner Shoaib Bashir was excluded from the first Test against India due to unforeseen visa complications. Bashir, who has Pakistani heritage, faced delays in his visa application, causing him to be unable to join the squad in Hyderabad on time. Consequently, he had to return home from the Abu Dhabi training camp, postponing his anticipated Test debut. With the series opener in Hyderabad just around the corner, the English camp is eagerly awaiting a resolution to the visa issues.
The optimism of the England and Wales Cricket Board for a resolution with the Indian Cricket Board concerning Shoaib Bashir’s visa predicament has been diminished. According to reports from the British media in India, Bashir was directed to return to London to obtain the correct paperwork from the Indian High Commission. The England camp had initially hoped for assistance from their Indian counterparts to resolve the visa issue.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board had earlier expressed concerns to the Apex Cricket Council, citing delays in visa processing for the recent World Cup in India. The situation reflects a diplomatic strain, impacting not only cricket squads but also journalists amid the complex relationship between the two nations.
I find it particularly frustrating: Ben Stokes
England’s captain Ben Stokes voiced his frustration regarding the extended delay in obtaining Shoaib Bashir’s visa approval. Stokes expressed concerns about the inconvenience caused by the ongoing visa issues, with Bashir’s participation in the series now uncertain. The ECB’s attempts to address the matter before the crucial series opener have encountered 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 and 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 said, talking to ESPNcricinfo.