File photo of Shoaib Bashir.© X (formerly Twitter)
Uncapped spinner Shoaib Bashir was effectively ruled out of the first Test of England’s tour of India on Tuesday after he was forced to return home to resolve visa issues. Surrey-born Bashir, a 20-year-old player of Pakistani heritage, was unable to join the rest of the squad flying to India from a training camp in Abu Dhabi ahead of the series opener in Hyderabad starting Thursday following a delay with his visa application. The England and Wales Cricket Board had hoped they could count on assistance from their counterparts at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in resolving the issue but things didn’t go the way they expected it to be.
Given that the England squad was announced around a month before the tour and there was enough time for visa processing, the media in the United Kingdom lashed out at India.
“How dare you?” wrote Mail Sport.
— George Mann (@sgfmann) January 22, 2024
“Shoaib Bashir returning to the UK amid visa stink is a damning reflection of the state of the game” – was the headline of The Cricketer.
“NOT CRICKET India branded a ‘disgrace’ after forcing England spinner Shoaib Bashir to fly home on eve of first Test” – wrote The Sun.
“England livid with India as Shoaib Bashir forced to fly home and miss 1st Test” – was the title used by inews.
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.
Bashir eventually got his Indian visa late on Wednesday.
England now hope the Somerset off-spinner will return to India over the weekend, but dejected captain Ben Stokes said: “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.
“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.”
(With AFP Inputs)
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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