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UK govt wants India to treat British citizens fairly after cricketer Bashir's visa episode

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Hyderabad, Jan 24 (PTI) The UK government on Wednesday stated that India should treat British citizens "fairly" when they apply for visas after off-spinner Shoaib Bashir's arrival for the five-match Test series was delayed due to lingering issues relating to his travel documents.

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The 20-year-old Bashir, who plays for Somerset in the English county, was with the England squad in Abu Dhabi but couldn't proceed to India as he is yet to be granted visa. His family is of Pakistani heritage.

"The specifics of this case are a matter for Shoaib Bashir and the Indian Government. But we absolutely expect India to treat British citizens fairly at all times in its visa process," a spokesperson of the British government was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

"We have previously raised the issues British citizens with Pakistani heritage experience applying for visas with the Indian High Commission in London." England captain Ben Stokes had earlier in the day said that he's "devastated" that the visa issues had forced Bashir to return home from the team's training base in Abu Dhabi.

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Bashir, who is a shock inclusion in the squad with a mediocre 10 wickets from just six first-class games, was never in contention for a place in the squad for the opening Test starting here on Thursday.

"Yeah, so he's back in London now. So, hopefully, we're going to see him back in India over the weekend. The feelings we have towards it (the visa episode) hasn't changed. It's obviously a frustrating situation," Stokes said in the pre-match press conference in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

"You know, we had announced our squad mid-December. Now, it's January 24 and we still don't have a reason for Shoaib's absence here...hopefully, we can get over and he can also just concentrate on the rest of his tour," he added. PTI PDS PDS SSC SSC

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