Eng vs Ind 2022 – Adil Rashid to miss India white-ball series to make Hajj pilgrimage

Adil Rashid will miss England’s white-ball series against India and the final stages of Yorkshire’s T20 Blast campaign to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

A practicing Muslim, Rashid decided earlier this year that he had reached the right time in his life to make the pilgrimage, and has been granted leave of absence from the ECB and Yorkshire. He flies to the Middle East on Saturday and is expected to return in mid-July, ahead of England’s white ball series against South Africa.

All adult Muslims are expected to undertake the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime, if they are physically able and have the financial means.

“I’ve wanted to do it for a while, but I found it quite difficult with the timing,” Rashid told ESPNcricinfo, speaking after England’s netting session in Amstelveen during their 3-0 ODI series win against the Netherlands. “This year I felt like it was something I had to do, and something I wanted to do.

“I’ve talked to the ECB and Yorkshire about it and they were very understanding and encouraging, like ‘yes you do what you have to do and then come back when you can’. Me and the madam are going and I’ll have a few be weeks.

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

Rashid expects to miss all six limited-overs against India from July 7-17, but said the playlist was not a major consideration in his decision. “It wasn’t, I’m playing against India – I better not go,” he said. “It didn’t really occur to me. It was just, well, I’m going – the decision was irrelevant to cricket in that sense.

“All I had to do was talk to Yorkshire and England and get their permission. It was very easy and they were very understanding. To get that support from your county and from your country feels like a big boost.”

Rashid credited Eoin Morgan and the England hierarchy with creating a “very supportive” environment for him and his Muslim teammates Moeen Ali and Saqib Mahmood. “Everyone in the locker room respects our faith a lot, and they have a great understanding of it now with myself and Moeen around,” he said.

“It’s very easy for us to be who we are in the dressing room, on and off the pitch, around the boys because they are so understanding. A lot of credit goes to England for making that environment very easy – not just for myself and Mo, but for other people.

“It’s about having that support for people coming in and making sure they’re comfortable — like they can be themselves, that there’s no pressure to do certain things and that everyone understands and is respectful.

“We all come from different backgrounds and different countries – it’s a very diverse team – but everyone gets along and has a lot of respect for each other. That’s a great honor for Morgs for creating that environment, and for the hierarchy.”

Rashid’s absence is likely to give Matt Parkinson the chance to play in the limited-overs series against India, having made his Test debut against New Zealand earlier this month as a concussion replacement for Jack Leach.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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