Tom Harrison, the ECB’s chief government, has admitted he was “involved” by the ECB’s failure to acquire a visa for Saqib Mahmood to journey to India.
Mahmood, the 21-year-old Lancashire quick bowler, was as a result of go to India as a part of the England Lions limited-overs squad earlier this yr. However delays in acquiring his visa, precipitated partially by his Pakistan heritage, finally noticed him changed within the squad by Tom Bailey.
“I used to be involved,” Harrison mentioned. “We labored intently with the BCCI to attempt to get Saqib a visa. However these are troublesome points and really political. We are able to kick and scream all we like however these are points which can be delicate and I am not going to make a slipshod remark about it.”
Whereas India’s long-standing strained relationship with Pakistan was a part of the explanation for the delay – Saqib was Birmingham born however is of Pakistan heritage – it seems there have been additionally delays at England’s finish. At one stage his passport was despatched to the mistaken handle and, with the Lions squad capable of be named solely after the total England squads, there was restricted time to undergo the required course of.
“It is very disappointing as a result of he is a younger bowler who’s missed out on a very thrilling alternative which might develop him,” Ashley Giles, the director of England males’s cricket, mentioned. “I am undecided there’s a lot I can do nevertheless it’s essential we hold dialogue open that tries to mitigate this form of stuff sooner or later.
“It is troublesome as a result of as soon as you’ve got received politics concerned… excursions are solely so lengthy and if there is a block there. It is very disappointing.”
Relations between India and Pakistan have dipped even decrease in latest days, following a terrorist assault in Kashmir, amid options the BCCI might ask for Pakistan to be faraway from the World Cup.