Rohit Sharma Hopes for Quick Resolution to England’s Shoaib Bashir Visa Row

Rohit Sharma Hopes for Quick Resolution to England’s Shoaib Bashir Visa Row

Hyderabad (India) (AFP) – Indian captain Rohit Sharma expressed his empathy for England’s Shoaib Bashir, who had to return home to address visa issues prior to the five-Test series. The 20-year-old spinner, born in Britain with Pakistani heritage, was unable to join the squad in India due to a delay in his visa application.

Speaking in Hyderabad on the eve of the opening match, Rohit Sharma said, “I feel for him honestly…I hope he can make it here quickly and enjoy our country and play some cricket as well.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) attempted to resolve the matter with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), but the decision ultimately fell beyond their control. There has been no immediate response from India’s foreign ministry.

While it is unlikely that Bashir would have made his Test debut on Thursday, England captain Ben Stokes described the situation as “frustrating” and hopes that the Somerset off-spinner will be able to return to India over the weekend.

The longstanding diplomatic tensions between arch-rivals India and Pakistan have affected their sporting relations as well, with India refusing to tour Pakistan or participate in ICC events held there. This has previously led to delays and difficulties for cricketers of Pakistani descent in gaining entry to India.

Last year, Australian batsman Usman Khawaja faced delays in joining the team’s tour of India. In addition, the Pakistan cricket team encountered visa delays prior to the ODI World Cup held in India last year.

Shoaib Bashir’s situation highlights the ongoing challenges faced in sports due to political tensions, but both teams hope for a swift resolution so that the focus can shift back to the cricketing action on the field.