Unforeseen Visa Hurdles Delay Rising Star Shoaib Bashir’s India Debut

Shoaib Bashir
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In an unexpected turn of events, the debut of promising off-spinner Shoaib Bashir in England’s five-Test series against India has been put on hold. The setback comes as Shoaib Bashir faces lingering visa issues, compelling him to return home from the team’s Abu Dhabi training base.

A Rising Star Hindered

Despite being part of the squad in Abu Dhabi, 20-year-old Shoaib Bashir, who plays for Somerset in the English county, is unable to proceed to India due to pending visa approval. With a modest record of 10 wickets from six first-class games, Bashir was not in contention for a spot in the opening Test, but England captain Ben Stokes expressed his disappointment, aiming to shield the young cricketer from such an unsettling start to his England Test team experience.

Complex Heritage Background

Adding complexity to the situation is Shoaib Bashir family heritage, which is of Pakistani origin. This visa delay draws parallels to a previous incident involving Australian opener Usman Khawaja, who faced a similar predicament during a Test series in India.

Frustrations of Leadership

Speaking to select British media, Stokes shared his frustration as captain, stating, “I find it particularly frustrating. We announced the squad in mid-December, and now Bash finds himself without a visa to get here. He’s not the first cricketer to go through this.”

Not a Unique Challenge

Stokes emphasized that Bashir’s situation is not unique, citing the 2019 incident involving Saqib Mahmood, another player of Pakistani origin who couldn’t travel to India for an ‘A’ series.

Intensive Efforts and Frustrations

To expedite the process, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s MD (Operations), Stuart Hooper, was present in the UAE. Despite concerted efforts to resolve the visa issues promptly, the desired result remained elusive, leaving both Stokes and Hooper expressing their frustrations over the unforeseen hurdles.

Awaiting Approval: Hope for Bashir’s Swift Debut

As the team prepares for the Test series, the hope is that Shoaib Bashir will soon receive the necessary approvals from the Indian High Commission in London. Cricket enthusiasts eagerly anticipate his debut on the international stage once the visa hurdles are cleared.

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