Rohit Sharma gives a cheeky reply to reports on England's Shoaib Bashir's visa issue
In a disappointing news to the England camp, they were dealt a major setback as they will be without the services of their uncapped spinner Shoaib Bashir for the IND vs ENG 1st Test in Hyderabad. The off-spinner had issues with his visa following which he had to stay back in Abu Dhabi, where England conducted a pre-series training camp, while the rest of the players arrived in India.
Despite efforts by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), including the presence of Stuart Hooper in the UAE to expedite the process, Bashir has now returned to the UK to sort out his issues in the hopes that he can reach India in time for the second Test in Vizag.
"I feel for Shoaib Bashir - Unfortunately, I don't sit in the Visa office to give you more details, but I hope he gets it quickly & enjoys our country," Rohit Sharma said in the pre-match press conference.
Watch the video clip of Rohit Sharma's response here.
England captain Ben Stokes disappointed with Shoaib Bashir's issue
The young off-spinner was a surprise inclusion in the team as was expected to be England's trump card in the series. The Indian captain expressed hope that Shoaib Bashir would quickly obtain his visa and have the opportunity to play in the India vs England Test series once the issues are resolved.
However, England captain Ben Stokes expressed his disappointment over the situation, stating that he did not want this to be Shoaib Bashir's "first experience with the England Test team", especially given his youth. Stokes highlighted the timing of the issue, noting that the squad was announced in mid-December, yet Bashir found himself without a visa to join the team.