Former Indian Cricketer Criticizes England’s Approach to Shoaib Bashir Visa Controversy


The saga surrounding England spinner Shoaib Bashir’s Indian visa has stirred debate, even after the issue was eventually resolved. Bashir, hailing from Pakistani heritage and born in Britain, faced initial visa refusal, leading to his absence in the first Test against India. Venturing from a training camp in Abu Dhabi, Bashir had to return to London for the necessary paperwork before finally securing his entry to India.

Amidst frustration expressed by the English media and captain Ben Stokes, former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad voiced his support for the host nation while criticizing the England Cricket Board (ECB) for their alleged lapse in adhering to standard procedures.

His visa needed to be stamped in the UK. The ECB sent Shoaib Bashir to the UAE, thinking it would be stamped in a third country. Not following basic procedures, assuming things and then crying foul is the old English way. If anything, it is the ECB at fault,

Prasad stated on social media.

The ECB later confirmed Bashir’s approval to travel to India, citing a resolution in the matter. The UK government reportedly played a role in expediting the process.

Despite Bashir’s absence, England opted for four spinners in the series opener, including Test debutant Tom Hartley and occasional off-spinner Joe Root. Stokes emphasised the team’s readiness to adapt to any playing surface in India, acknowledging the challenging conditions against the formidable home side, who are without star batsman Virat Kohli for the first two Tests due to personal reasons.

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