Rashid, 34, a practicing Muslim, decided earlier this year that he had reached the right time in his life to make the pilgrimage, and was granted leave by the ECB and Yorkshire. He will fly to the Middle East on Saturday and is expected to return in mid-July ahead of England’s white-ball series against South Africa.
“I wanted to do it for a while, but I found it very difficult over time. This year, I felt like it was something I had to do, and something I wanted to do too,” Rashid told ESPNcricinfo. Told.
“I talked to the ECB and Yorkshire about it and they were very understanding and encouraging, like: ‘Yeah, you do what you’ve got to do and then come back when you can’. And I’ll be there for a few weeks.
This is a big moment: each religion has its own thing, but being Islam and a Muslim, this is one of the biggest. This is a big thing for my faith and for me. I knew I needed to do this when I was young and strong and healthy. It’s something I’ve really committed to myself that I’ll do.”
Rashid is expected to miss all six limited overs matches against India from July 7 to 17, but he said the schedule was not a big consideration in his decision.
“It wasn’t like, well, I’m playing against India – I wouldn’t have gotten better. It didn’t really pop into my mind. It was purely: OK, I’m leaving – the decision was irrelevant to cricket , in that sense,” he said.
“I just had to talk to Yorkshire and England and push them. It was very simple and they were very understanding. To get that support from my county and my country, it feels like a big boost,” he said. Told. added.
In Rashid’s absence, England are likely to offer Matt Parkinson a chance to play in the limited-overs series against India, as he made his Test debut against New Zealand earlier this month as a replacement for Jack Leach.
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