England debated not flying to India until Shoaib Bashir’s visa problems fixed

By Sports Desk January 24, 2024

England captain Ben Stokes floated the idea of not flying to India until Shoaib Bashir’s visa problems were resolved but admitted there was “never a chance” of putting the first Test at risk.

Bashir, a British Muslim with Pakistani heritage, was ruled out of contention for a Test debut in Hyderabad on Thursday due to delays with his application.

The 20-year-old was ultimately forced to fly home from Abu Dhabi, where England held a pre-series training camp, after his team-mates travelled on to India.

Stokes’ instant reaction when he found out the Somerset spinner had become the latest player of Pakistani descent to experience hold-ups entering India was for the squad to remain with him in a show of solidarity.

The notion did not last long, with the tight turn around effectively meaning the game would have to be postponed, but reflected Stokes’ clear disgruntlement at the treatment of a young colleague.

“When I first found the news out in Abu Dhabi, I did say we shouldn’t fly until Bash gets his visa but that was a little bit tongue in cheek,” he said at his pre-match press conference.

“I know it’s a way bigger thing, doing that. That was probably just (my) emotions around the whole thing. There was never a chance that we were not going to travel around this but Bash knows he’s had our full support.

“I’m pretty devastated that Bash has had to go through this. As a leader, as a captain, when one of your team-mates is affected by something like that you do get a bit emotional.

“I know he’s back in London and a lot of people are jumping through hoops to try and get this through quicker. Hopefully we’re going to see him here over the weekend.”

India captain Rohit Sharma expressed sympathy for Bashir, who has been thrust into the spotlight and compelled to fly almost 10,000 additional miles to secure the paperwork other players received as a matter of course.

“I feel for him honestly,” said Sharma.

“Unfortunately I don’t sit in the visa office to give you more details on that but hopefully he can make it quickly, enjoy our country and plays some cricket as well.

“It’s not easy for anyone, it could be one of our guys wanting to come to England and being denied.”

Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood, whose parents hail from Pakistan, had to be withdrawn from an England Lions tour of India in 2019 after similar delays, while Australia opener Usman Khawaja was a late arrival on his country’s Test trip in 2023.

Moreover, the Pakistan Cricket Board wrote to the International Cricket Council late last year due to express concerns over waiting times for World Cup visas.

England had called for assistance from counterparts at the Board of Control for Cricket in India, with new operations manager Stuart Hooper leading negotiations in the United Arab Emirates, but were informed that Bashir needed to present his passport in person at the Indian high commission in London.

Related items

  • Usain Bolt named ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Ambassador Usain Bolt named ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Ambassador

    The International Cricket Council (ICC) have announced Olympic legend Usain Bolt as an ambassador for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which will be played in the West Indies and USA from 1-29 June 2024.

    The announcement comes a few weeks ahead of the start of the biggest cricket carnival spectacle ever that will inspire a new generation of fans. Bolt’s global appeal alongside his out of this world athletic achievements and ability to transcend boundaries makes him a perfect fit for the biggest T20 World Cup ever.

    Bolt created history at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio when he achieved the ‘Triple-Triple’, three gold medals at three consecutive Olympic Games. His journey to worldwide stardom started at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing where he won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m, all in world record times.

    Bolt currently holds world records in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m with times of 9.58 secs, 19.19 secs and 36.84 secs. His first world record was in the 100m in 2008 when he posted a time of 9.72 secs in New York. He lowered it to 9.69 secs at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and then to 9.58 secs at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. He holds the three fastest times ever run: 9.58, 9.64 and 9.69 seconds.

    As an ambassador, Bolt will play a key role in promoting the event, starting with a cameo appearance in next week’s release of the event’s official anthem music video alongside iconic artists Sean Paul and Kes. The eight-time Olympic Gold Medallist will also attend T20 World Cup matches in the West Indies and be part of fan engagement events promoting the sport within the United States.

    Usain Bolt expressed his excitement about his new role, saying: "I am thrilled to be an ambassador for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Coming from the Caribbean where cricket is a part of life, the sport has always held a special place in my heart, and I look forward to attending West Indies matches at the World Cup and making a contribution to the growth of cricket globally.

    “While I will of course be supporting West Indies at the World Cup, getting the sport into the US is big for cricket. It’s the biggest sports market in the world and the energy that we will bring for the T20 World Cup is a huge opportunity leading towards cricket’s inclusion in the LA Olympics in 2028.”

    ICC Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Allardice said: "Usain Bolt is a global icon, we are thrilled to have him on board as an Ambassador for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 to engage with a new generation of fans. His passion for cricket is well known, making him the perfect fit for this role. Alongside his world record breaking achievements and energetic personality, he will add another exciting element to the World Cup.”

    The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 is set to be action packed with Bolt's presence adding a new level of excitement for fans globally. Fans can look forward to seeing the world's best teams battle it out for glory, with the World Cup opening match seeing co-host USA taking on Canada at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Dallas, Texas on Saturday 1 June. For full match fixtures and tickets, including hospitality packages in both the West Indies and USA, visit tickets.t20worldcup.com

     

  • Poor Mitchell form causing 'pressure' as CSK lose again in IPL Poor Mitchell form causing 'pressure' as CSK lose again in IPL

    Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming acknowledges there is "pressure" on New Zealand batter Daryl Mitchell after his team lost again to Lucknow Super Giants.

    Holders CSK had won four of their first six Indian Premier League matches this season, but consecutive losses to LSG in the space of five days have seen them slip to fifth in the standings.

    Their latest IPL defeat on Tuesday came after CSK had left out Rachin Ravindra, with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ajinkya Rahane opening the batting, with Mitchell coming in at number three.

    While captain Gaikwad scored an impressive unbeaten 108, Rahane managed just one run and Mitchell fell for just 11 off 10 balls.

    LSG then chased down their 211 target for victory with three balls left, inspired by a superb innings of 124 not out by Marcus Stoinis.

    Mitchell was a major acquisition by CSK at the IPL auction, but so far he has managed just 146 runs in seven innings at a strike rate of 123.72.

    "There's a lot of pressure obviously," Fleming said when asked about Mitchell's poor form.

    "Getting up the order is more comfortable for him. Me putting him down the order in the hitting role wasn't his best position. So, we've looked to rectify that and get him up the order where he has had his best performances internationally. 

    "That might take a little bit of time, but the top three need to contribute the majority of runs.

    "Ruturaj did that, so hopefully he can continue his form and the others can pick that up."

    CSK are back in action at home against in-form Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday and Fleming accepts there is work to do, but takes comfort from the fact their defeats have not been comprehensive.

    He added: "We are not firing on all cylinders by any means but we are in each game and we are asking teams to play well to beat us. 

    "We just have to make sure we are good enough to win and we have been. Again [versus LSG] we created a chance, so it is not like we are down and out.

    "But we know we could be stronger. We have just got to get a little bit better. It is a mixture of trying to find that [combination at the top of the order] and also form.

    "We are a little bit uncomfortable with some areas, so we are trying to find not a quick fix, but the right combination where players are going to contribute for the back end of this tournament.

    "We have had injuries, we have been a little bit unsettled, but the main thing is getting guys in key areas and in form."

    IPL 2024 continues on Wednesday when Delhi Capitals face Gujarat Titans, with both teams sitting outside the playoff positions as things stand.

  • CWI president Shallow anticipates fruitful discussions at Caribbean Cricket Conference set for April 25-27 CWI president Shallow anticipates fruitful discussions at Caribbean Cricket Conference set for April 25-27

    Dr. Kishore Shallow, President of Cricket West Indies (CWI), eagerly anticipates the forthcoming Regional Conference on West Indies Cricket, slated for 25-26 April 2024 at the Hyatt Regency in Trinidad and Tobago. As stakeholders convene under the banner "Reinvigorating West Indies Cricket - A Symposium for Strategic Collaboration and Innovation," Dr. Shallow acknowledges the significant strides taken by CWI as it navigates a new four-year cycle and strategic plan.

    "While we have made considerable progress within CWI, setting the stage for a brighter future for West Indies Cricket, it's essential to recognize that there is no quick fix addressing the complex challenges facing our sport," remarked Dr. Shallow. "It requires sustained effort and participation from all stakeholders involved."

    Dr. Shallow emphasizes the need for shared responsibility in driving positive change within the cricketing community. "While CWI shoulders a significant portion of the responsibility, we understand that meaningful progress cannot be achieved in isolation," he stated.

    "It is crucial for all stakeholders, including CARICOM Governments, territorial boards, and other relevant entities, to actively engage and contribute to the advancement of West Indies Cricket."

    The upcoming conference provides a platform for collaborative efforts aimed at addressing critical areas such as infrastructure development, investment in grassroots, youth, and women's cricket, and other aspects of sports development. Dr. Shallow expresses optimism about the potential outcomes of the conference, stating, "Together, we can forge sustainable solutions that will propel West Indies Cricket to new heights of success and prominence on the global stage.

    "We remain committed to building upon the progress we've made and charting a course towards a vibrant and prosperous future for West Indies Cricket," affirmed Dr. Shallow. "Through collective action and shared responsibility, we are confident in our ability to overcome challenges and realize our vision for the sport."

    The CWI delegation at the conference will be led by President Dr. Kishore Shallow along with Vice President Azim Bassarath, CWI Directors, Chief Executive Officer, Director of Cricket, Business Planning Manager, and Head Coaches Andre Coley and Daren Sammy. Additionally, other key members of the CWI organization will also be present to contribute to the discussions and deliberations.

    The conference will be live-streamed on Cricket West Indies' official YouTube channel.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.