England spinner Shoaib Bashir yet to arrive in India after visa issue

Bashir, whose parents are of Pakistani heritage, was unable to join his teammates on the flight to India

By AFP

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England spinner Shoaib Bashir. — X
England spinner Shoaib Bashir. — X

Published: Mon 22 Jan 2024, 7:18 PM

England arrived in India on Monday without Shoaib Bashir after a visa problem kept the uncapped spinner in Abu Dhabi.

The squad, who had been holding a training camp in the UAE ahead of Thursday's start of the first Test in Hyderabad, were already a man down after batsman Harry Brook returned home for personal reasons.

And they were reduced to 14 men when Somerset off-spinner Bashir, whose parents are of Pakistani heritage, was unable to join his teammates on the flight to India.

Pakistani media endured visa delays in the run-up to the recent World Cup in India but England coach Brendon McCullum was optimistic that Indian cricket authorities, and indeed the government, could aid Bashir's arrival following an approach by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

"Bash will join us hopefully tomorrow, he's got a couple of issues with his visa coming through," said McCullum.

"We're confident on the back of the help from the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and the Indian government that it will sort itself out pretty quickly as well.

"Things take time, don't they? Everyone is doing what they can. It's a process we need to go through and we're pretty confident that we're close. We've also got a little bit of support out there for him so he's not on his own.

"We're hoping the news will come through today that his visa has been approved, then we'll get him to sink his teeth into this series."

Bashir, 20, was a surprise selection for the tour given he has taken a mere 10 first-class wickets at an expensive average of 67.

But the England management were impressed by his performances for the second-string Lions in the UAE and they believe his high release point, allied to an ability to gain sharp turn, will make him effective on Indian pitches renowned for assisting spinners.

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