Earlier this week, uncapped spinner Shoaib Bashir was effectively ruled out of the first Test of England’s tour of India, starting Thursday in Hyderabad. Bashir, a 20-year-old player of Pakistani heritage, was forced to return home to resolve visa issues. As a result, he was unable to join the rest of the squad flying to India from a training camp in Abu Dhabi. England captain Ben Stokes expressed his frustration on the matter, saying that he felt bad for Bashir. India captain Rohit Sharma also hoped Bashir’s visa issue could be resolved as soon as possible.
As Bashir returned home to sort out his visa issue, a spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the government expects British citizens to be treated fairly by India’s visa processes.
“I can’t speak to the specifics of this case. But more broadly we have previously raised issues of this kind with the High Commission. We have been clear that we expect India to treat British citizens fairly at all times in its visa processes. We have previously raised the issues British citizens with Pakistani heritage have experienced. We’ve raised the issues about their experience of applying for visas with the Indian High Commissioner in London,” the spokesperson said, as quoted by the BBC.
Bashir made his debut for Somerset in a T20 game against their arch-rivals Hampshire last year in June, just four days before featuring in his maiden first-class match against Essex.
He has played six first-class and seven List-A games so far, but caught the eyeballs of the selectors in England’s recent training camp that took place in UAE.
Standing at 6ft 4in, Bashir played a crucial role as Somerset won the T20 Blast last year.
Amid Bashir’s visa row, England, on the eve of the first Test, named their playing XI for the game in Hyderabad.
The visitors left out veteran pacer James Anderson, while spinner Tom Hartley is set to make his debut.
England have picked four spinners and one fast bowler in Mark Wood.
Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes, Rehan Ahmed and Jack Leach returned to the team after having not been part of the team’s last Test against Australia at The Oval last summer.
England XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (capt), Ben Foakes, Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, Jack Leach
(With AFP Inputs)
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Source website: sports.ndtv.com