Hajj: England cricketer Adil Rashid to miss series against Indiatext_fields
London: To perform Hajj in Mecca, England Cricket Board (ECB) granted clearance to England team member Adil Rashid. The spinner will miss the white-ball series against India scheduled next month, PTI reports.
A practising Muslim, Rashid, will fly to Saudi Arabia on Saturday, also leaving the amid the Yorkshire's T20 Blast campaign.
Rashid told ESPNcricinfo, "I've been wanting to do it for a little while but I've found it pretty difficult with the timings. This year, I felt as though it was something that I had to do, and something I wanted to do as well.
"I spoke to the ECB and to 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 and the missus are going, and I'll be there for a couple of weeks," he said.
Rashid was in the squad against the last Netherlands tour, and his team swept the ODI series 3-0. "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," he said. "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," he added.
India will tour England in the upcoming white-ball series, scheduled form July 7 to 17, consisting of three ODIs and T20s each. Since Rashid is going to return in mid-July, he will miss the entire series.
The 34-year-old further said, "It wasn't like, right, I'm playing against India - I'd better not go. 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 said.