ENG vs IND: Adil Rashid to miss white-ball series for Hajj pilgrimage

ENG vs IND: Adil Rashid to miss white-ball series for Hajj pilgrimage

Rashid will also be unavailable for Yorkshire for the last few games of the ongoing T20 Blast.

Adil Rashid
Adil Rashid. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

England spinner Adil Rashid will miss the upcoming white-ball series against India at home on account of Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Rashid will also be unavailable for Yorkshire for the last few games of the ongoing T20 Blast due to the same reason.

Rashid, who was a part of the 3-0 victorious ODI squad against the Netherlands, said that he has been long wanting to make the pilgrimage and feels the time is right for him to perform Hajj. He confirmed that he has been granted leave by the England Cricket Board (ECB) and Yorkshire as he flies to the Middle East on June 25.

“I’ve been wanting to do it for a little while but I’ve found it pretty difficult with the timings,” Rashid told ESPNcricinfo. “I spoke to the ECB and Yorkshire about it and they were very understanding and encouraging, like: ‘yep, you do what you’ve got to do and then come back when you can’. Me (sic) and the missus are going and I’ll be there for a couple of weeks.

“It’s a massive moment: each faith has got their own different thing but for Islam and being a Muslim, this is one of the biggest ones. It’s a big thing for my faith and for myself. I knew that I needed to do it while I’m young and strong and healthy. This is something that I really committed to myself that I would do.”

England and India will play three T20Is and as many ODIs from July 7 to 17, all of which Rashid is set to miss as he will return in mid-July. Rashid has been one of England’s key white-ball members and needless to say, his presence would have made a difference against a premier touring side like India. However, he admitted that it is not something he considered while making the decision.

Everyone in the dressing room respects our faith massively: Adil Rashid

“It wasn’t like, right, I’m playing against India – I’d better not go,” he said. “That didn’t really cross my mind. It was purely: right, I’m going – the decision was irrelevant of cricket, in that sense. All I had to do was speak to Yorkshire and England and get their go-ahead. That was very easy and they were very understanding. To have that backing from your county and from your country, it feels like a big boost.”

Rashid lauded his skipper Eoin Morgan and credited the England team for showing unity in diversity.

“Everyone in the dressing room respects our faith massively, and they’ve got a good understanding of it now with myself and Moeen [Ali] around. “It’s about having that support for people coming in and making them feel comfortable… We’re all from different backgrounds and different countries – it’s a very diverse team – but everyone gets along and respects each other massively. That’s a big credit to Morgs [Eoin Morgan] for making that environment, and to the hierarchy.”