Stokes Frustrated as Bashir Heads Home Amid Visa Woes for India Tour

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The Test series between India and England is set to be on the stage on January 25 in Hyderabad. The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium is all set to arrange the first Test match between these two teams. The England team has already arrived in India. But the young spinner of England Shoaib Bashir is ruled out from the first Test due to some visa issue. England skipper Ben Stokes expressed frustration over this matter. 

Visa Problem of Shoaib Bashir:

Upon England’s arrival in India on Sunday, the absence of Bashir was noticeable, as he remained in Abu Dhabi along with Stuart Hooper, the ECB’s director of cricket operations. Initial optimism for his arrival in Hyderabad on Tuesday dwindled due to ongoing delays, prompting the 20-year-old to return home in the hopes of expediting the process.

Born in Surrey and holding a British passport, Bashir, of Pakistani heritage, encounters familiar challenges entering India due to historical tensions between the neighboring countries.

The request for Bashir’s visa, like those for other team members, was submitted shortly after the squad announcement on December 11. Interestingly, Rehan Ahmed, another England player with a similar background on this tour, had already secured the required paperwork while being on standby for the World Cup. 

Bashir secured his spot after turning heads at an England Lions training camp in November. Despite modest statistics of 10 wickets at an average of 67 in six first-class matches, selectors recognized his potential beyond the numbers. Reports suggest that Bashir adapted well to the Test squad during the 10-day training camp in the UAE, showcasing impressive bowling skills. Indian condition is spin friendly and he was a potential debut candidate this week. Unfortunately, visa delays now overshadow this prospect, even if he manages to arrive on Wednesday, just a day before the Test begins.

Ben Stokes’ Words:

There’s hope that Bashir will join the team by the weekend. However, Stokes is visibly frustrated with the challenges he’s facing at the beginning of his first England tour. He said, “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. 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. I feel for him.”

Later he added, “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. Especially for a young lad, I’m devastated for him. It’s a frustrating situation to be in, but a lot of people have been trying to get it through. It’s unfortunate and I’m very frustrated for him.”

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