Eng vs Ind: England Spinner Shoaib Bashir Facing Visa Hurdle

In a surprising turn of events, England spinner Shoaib Bashir finds himself in a visa conundrum, compelling him to fly back from the UAE and miss the crucial 5-Test series against India scheduled to commence on January 25.

The Stranded 20-Year-Old Talent

Shoaib Bashir, an uncapped 20-year-old cricket sensation, was left stranded in the UAE while the rest of the England squad successfully touched down in India. Despite the setback, England head coach Brendon McCullum expressed optimism, assuring fans that the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) was diligently working to resolve the visa issue, to have Bashir join the team for the first Test.

ECB’s Escalation and McCullum’s Confidence

McCullum revealed that the ECB had escalated the matter, engaging with both the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and the Indian government to expedite Bashir’s visa approval. Bashir had been an integral part of the training camp in the UAE, gearing up for the challenging Test series against India.

Ben Stokes Speaks Out

England captain Ben Stokes voiced his dismay over the situation, emphasizing his disappointment for the young player. Stokes did not shy away from taking a dig at the BCCI and the Indian government, pointing out that Bashir was not the first player to encounter such visa-related obstacles.

Historical Precedent: Usman Khawaja’s Visa Ordeal

Drawing parallels, Stokes highlighted the case of Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja, who faced a similar visa issue last year. Although Khawaja eventually secured a later visa, the delay meant he missed crucial matches of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

“I never wanted this to be his initial experience in the England Test team,” stated Stokes. “Especially for a young player, I feel devastated for him.”

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