England’s leggie Adil Rashid will miss the team’s limited over series against India as he will make the Hajj pilgrimage, ESPNcricinfo reported.
The leg spinner has exited Yorkshire’s T20 Blast campaign as well after the county club and England granted him leave. The leggie will fly out to Saudi Arabia this Saturday and will return in mid-July, the publication reported.
“I’ve been wanting to do it for a little while but I’ve found it pretty difficult with the timings,” he told ESPNcricinfo.
“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.
“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.”
The leg spinner also heaped praise on England skipper Eoin Morgan and the team’s hierarchy for creating a “very supportive” environment for the Muslim teammates — including him, Moeen Ali, and Saqib Mahmood.
“Everyone in the dressing room respects our faith massively, and they’ve got a good understanding of it now with myself and Moeen around,” he added.