Adil Rashid misses the white ball series for the Hajj pilgrimage

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

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

England Spinner Adil Raschid will miss forthcoming white ball series against India at home due to Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Rashid will also be unavailable for Yorkshire for the final matches of the ongoing T20 Blast for the same reason.

Rashid, who was part of ODI’s 3-0 winning team against the Netherlands, said he has wanted to do the pilgrimage for a long time and feels the time is right for him to perform Hajj. He confirmed 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 wanted to do it for a while but I found it quite difficult with the timing,” Rashid told ESPNcricinfo. “I spoke to the ECB and Yorkshire about it and they were very understanding and encouraging, like, ‘Yes, you do what you have to do and come back when you can.’ Me (sic) and the wife are going and I will be there for a few weeks.

“It’s a tremendous moment: every faith has its own cause, but for Islam and being a Muslim, this is one of the greatest. It’s a big thing for my faith and for myself. I knew I had to do it while I was young, strong and healthy. It’s something I really committed to doing.”

England and India will play three T20Is and as many ODIs from July 7-17, all of which Rashid will miss as he returns in mid-July. Rashid was one of England’s key white-ball members and of course his presence against a top-flight touring side like India would have made all the difference. However, he admitted he didn’t take that into account when making his decision.

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

“It wasn’t like that, right, I’m playing India – I better not go,” he said. “It didn’t really cross my mind. It was just: Right, I’m leaving – the decision was irrelevant to cricket in that sense. All I had to do was speak to Yorkshire and England and get their approval. It was very easy and they were very understanding. To have this support from your district and your country feels like a huge boost.”

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

“Everyone in the dressing room respects our beliefs very much and they have a good understanding of that now with me and Moeen [Ali] around. “It’s about having that support for the people that come in and making them feel comfortable… We all come from different backgrounds and different countries – it’s a very diverse team – but everyone understands and respects each other each other enormously. This is a great credit to Morgs [Eoin Morgan] for creating that environment and for the hierarchy.”

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