Daily Mail

This has echoes of D’Oliveira. We should think about bringing them home


THE ECB have a decision to make over the treatment of Shoaib Bashir — either ignore it and carry on, tell India they will not start the Test series until their full complement of players is present, or bring the England team home.

It is a decision they should be thinking very seriously about and the latter two options should most definitely be on the table.

Let’s go back more than 50 years and the selection of mixedrace player Basil D’Oliveira as a replacemen­t by England for the 1968-69 tour of apartheid South Africa. The MCC called that tour off because the South Africans made it clear D’Oliveira would not be welcome to return to his homeland as part of the squad.

The MCC, who sent England sides abroad in those days, would not accept such political interferen­ce and refused to honour their commitment.

That episode was an absolute disgrace and thankfully the administra­tors did the right thing in the end by pulling out.

This situation is also political. Now, I realise this is different because it is a player being delayed rather than refused entry permanentl­y, but it doesn’t make it right.

People all over the cricket world are asking why an individual within an internatio­nal squad should be treated differentl­y from the rest.

Here is a lad on the verge of fulfilling his dreams by playing for England and he is being prevented from having a fair crack at it.

I don’t think we have ever stopped an Indian cricketer from coming here to play. Why are they stopping an English one for no apparent reason, other than his Pakistani heritage? Sadly, Usman Khawaja suffered for the same reason last year, arriving 36 hours behind his Australian team-mates for a four-Test tour.

Surely in this day and age, it’s reasonable to expect when you are travelling abroad to play a series of such prestige that your players are permitted free passage as part of that process.

This England Test squad was picked in early December and so they will have got to work immediatel­y with the visas. They have had over a month.

Bashir is an England cricketer, the same as the other 15 players in the squad. We need to stand up and support him.

He will be feeling awkward and perhaps embarrasse­d by the situation, but he should not be in this position as he has done absolutely nothing wrong.

He should not have to be subjected to this. My view is that they should delay tomorrow’s scheduled start of the first Test until he gets there.

India are stopping one of our players from playing. They have made him ineligible for selection by forcing him home to try to get the necessary paperwork through. It is a journey he should not need to make.

It beggars belief that the delay has gone on for so long that he is now unavailabl­e for the first Test in Hyderabad.

 ?? ?? Controvers­y: Mail Sport’s take on the Bashir saga yesterday
Controvers­y: Mail Sport’s take on the Bashir saga yesterday
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