Venkatesh Prasad slams British media, blames ECB for Shoaib Bashir visa fiasco

Venkatesh Prasad, Shoaib Bashir

Former India Cricketer Venkatesh Prasad has criticized the British media for complaining about the delay in issuing a visa to young English player Shoaib Bashir. Bashir is of Pakistani origin and had to return home after there was a delay in granting his visa. Bashir was part of England’s training session in Abu Dhabi ahead of the Test series against India.

‘The Telegraph’ shared an article written by its journalist Oliver Brown, which England should refuse to play the first Test starting on January 25 in Hyderabad. However, Venkatesh Prasad harshly criticized the English journalist and ‘The Telegraph’ and mentioned that it was the ECB to blame for Shoaib Bashir not receiving the visa on time.

Venkatesh Prasad slams ECB over Shoaib Bashir visa issue

Venkatesh Prasad stated that Shoaib Bashir’s visa was to be stamped in the UK, but the England and Wales Cricket Board sent him to the UAE and thought the visa would be granted in a third country. Prasad added that it was the ECB to blame for this entire scenario.

Venkatesh Prasad wrote in his tweet: “His visa had to be stamped in the UK. The ECB sent Shoaib Bashir to the United Arab Emirates, thinking that he would be sealed in a third country. Not following basic procedures, assuming things and then complaining is an old English way. If anyone is to blame, it is the ECB’s fault.”

However, the issue was resolved and Shoaib Bashir was granted a visa to travel to India and join the England team. Bashir’s visa application was made in December 2023, when England announced their squad for India. It is believed that Bashir’s roots in Pakistan became the main reason behind the non-approval of his visa application. There was a lot of anger in the British media over this issue.

However, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is believed to have intervened in the matter, resulting in Shoaib Bashir’s visa being eventually granted. Another member of the England team, Rehan Ahmed, was also of Pakistani origin, but was granted a visa in time.

England are the only team to have defeated India in India in a Test series in the last 12 years. However, his recent tours of India have not been as promising as they should have been. England faced humiliating defeats in the last two Indian tours and will look to do well in the series.

India, on the other hand, are once again favorites to win the series due to their lethal spin attack. England’s fight against spin has also been one of the main reasons why India was ahead before the start of the series.