“Crying Foul Is An Old English Way”: Ex-India Star Blasts England Over Shoaib Bashir Visa Row

Though England spinner Shoaib Bashir eventually received his Indian visa following an initial refusal from New Delhi, the discussion regarding the entire issue continues. Britain-born Bashir, who is from Pakistani heritage, was unable to join the rest of the squad flying to India from a training camp in Abu Dhabi and remained unvailable for the first of the five Tests starting Thursday. The Somerset off-spinner had to fly back to London from Abu Dhabi to finish the required paperwork for his entry to India.

Not only the English media but England captain Ben Stokes too was left frustrated with the Bashir visa row.

However, former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad has backed the host nation and criticized the England Cricket Board (ECB) for “not following the basic 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 an old English way. If anyone, it is the ECB at fault,” wrote Prasad on X, formerly Twitter.

The ECB on Wednesday had informed about Bashir getting a green signal for his visit to India.

“Shoaib Bashir has now received his visa, and is due to travel to join up with the team in India this weekend,” the board said in a statement. “We’re glad the situation has now been resolved.”

According to reports, the UK government intervened to fast-track the matter.

In spite of Bashir’s absence England have still picked four spinners for Thursday’s opener, including Test debutant Tom Hartley and occasional off-spinner Joe Root.

Spin is expected to play a huge part on Indian pitches, but Stokes said the team was prepared to tackle any surface on offer.

“You have always got to think that the ball is going to turn in India but you don’t want to go in with any preconceived ideas,” he said.

“Any team which comes to India, it’s always a tough challenge. You know, India are an absolute beast in their home conditions, there’s no doubt about that.”

India are without star batsman Virat Kohli, who withdrew from the opening two Tests due to personal reasons.

(With AFP Inputs)

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