‘Slap to the English media’: Shoaib Bashir obtains visa to travel to India

Rohit Sharma and Shoaib Bashir

According to the Foreign Office, English cricketer Shoaib Bashir has been granted a visa upon his return to the United Kingdom. Bashir was unable to join the England team in India because there was a delay in his visa. It was learned that Shoaib Bashir was of Pakistani origin, so his visa application did not receive approval unlike his other teammates.

The Foreign Office source confirmed that the visa was granted to Shoaib Bashir upon his return to the UK. There was much outrage in the UK media and Bashir’s visa application was approved when British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak became involved in the matter.

The source said, quoted by the Indian Express, “There is a process in place and as per that process, clearance was received earlier this week. High Commission officials in London have contacted the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to ensure the player’s visa is issued to him immediately. However, the player traveled to Abu Dhabi. When they contacted him, he had already returned to London. Now that he presented his passport today, he was issued the visa so that he could join their team.”

Shoaib Bashir obtains visa to travel to India

The England and Wales Cricket Board further confirmed the news and tweeted the same on their official ‘X’ account. The tweet read: “Shoaib Bashir has already received his visa and is due to travel to join the team in India this weekend. We are glad that the situation has now been resolved.”

Shoaib Bashir’s visa application to travel to India was made in December, when it was announced that the England team would tour India. However, the Somerset player had to stay in the UAE, while his other team-mates received their visas on time. Bashir had to return to the UK and it was believed that he would only get the visa once he reported to the Indian High Commission’s office in London.

However, another English player, Rehan Ahmed, was granted a visa on time, even after having Pakistani roots.

Indian captain Rohit Sharma was also asked the same during the pre-match press conference in Hyderabad. Rohit stated that he feels sorry for Bashir but he doesn’t sit in the visa office. England captain Ben Stokes also expressed his anger over the issue and found it very frustrating for Bashir as the team was announced in December.

India is scheduled to play a five-match Test series against England, starting on January 25 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. England have undergone intense training ahead of the series and are hoping to perform well in India.

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