Ben Stokes-led England faced a big setback just a day ahead of the series opener of the five-match Test series against India. It all happened when the young off-spinner Shoaib Bashir was forced to return to the UK after his visa issue ended up without getting resolved. The young spinner was supposed to join the England squad in Hyderabad for the first Test against the hosts.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t join the England squad as he had to make his way back to the UK due to the visa delay. Notably, Bashir has his roots of origin in India’s neighbours and one of the bitter geopolitical relations, Pakistan.
"I have played with a lot of people who have had the same issues" - Ben Stokes
In the same line of events, England skipper Ben Stokes vented out his frustration on the same and also expressed his concerns for the youngster.
“We announced that squad in mid-December, and now Bash finds himself without a visa to get here. I am more frustrated for him. I didn't want this type of situation to be his first experience of what it's like to be in the England Test team. I feel for him,” said Stokes to ESPNcricinfo while speaking about this issue.
“But he's not the first cricketer to go through this, I have played with a lot of people who have had the same issues. I find it frustrating that we have picked a player and he's not with us because of visa issues. Especially for a young lad, I'm devastated for him. It's a frustrating situation to be in, but a lot of people have been trying to get it through. It's unfortunate and I'm very frustrated for him,”
Earlier, in a line of setbacks for the visitors, star middle-order batter Harry Brook withdrew his name from the squad due to personal reasons and returned home to England.
Here’s a look at the England squad for the Test Series against India:
Ben Stokes (C), James Anderson, Rehan Ahmed, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Shoaib Bashir (Excluded), Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes (WK), Dan Lawrence, Tom Hartley, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Mark Wood.