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Shoaib Bashir: English playmaker who was granted a visa to travel to India

Shoaib Bashir: English playmaker who was granted a visa to travel to India

  • Written by Stefan Schimmelt
  • Hyderabad's leading cricket writer

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Shoaib Bashir played only six first-class matches

England player Shoaib Bashir has received an Indian visa and could be back with the team by the end of the week.

The 20-year-old, who is of Pakistani origin, initially departed in Abu Dhabi when England traveled from their training camp to Hyderabad on Sunday.

It emerged on Tuesday that he had returned to the UK, and the visa was confirmed on Wednesday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said: “We are pleased that the situation has now been resolved.”

“Shoaib Bashir has now received his visa and is scheduled to travel to join the team in India this weekend.”

An Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said: “London has issued the visa.

“There are rules and regulations that govern the issuance of Indian visa. The same has been applied in this case.”

Somerset off-spinner Bashir will miss the first Test against India, which starts on Thursday.

Speaking earlier on Wednesday, England captain Ben Stokes said there was “absolutely no chance” England would boycott the opening match of the five-Test series in support of Bashir.

He admitted that he had raised the idea of ​​a boycott among team members, but said it was merely “tongue in cheek.”

“As a captain, as a captain, when one of your teammates is affected by something like this, you get a little emotional. I'm devastated for him,” Stokes said.

Al-Bashir, who was born in Surrey, was a surprise call-up to the England squad for this tour, having played just six first-class matches.

There are long-standing political tensions between India and Pakistan, and he is not the first cricketer of Pakistani origin to struggle to make it to India.

Australia's opener Usman Khawaja, who was born in Pakistan, had a delayed arrival on a Test tour last year, while the entire Pakistani team participating in last year's World Cup in India faced similar delays.

BBC Test match special commentator Atif Nawaz, whose family is from Pakistan, also faced delays in obtaining a visa for the World Cup and ultimately did not travel to the tournament.

Bashir's England team-mate Rehan Ahmed is also of Pakistani origin but has a visa from last year where he served as a reserve for the World Cup squad.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday that the government expects India to treat British citizens fairly.

“I cannot speak to the specifics of this case. But more broadly, we have previously raised issues of this nature with the High Commission. We have been clear that we expect India to treat British citizens fairly at all times in its visa processes.” The spokesperson said.

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