Rashid will also miss the latter stages of Yorkshire’s T20 Blast campaign. However, he will return in time for the series against South Africa in mid July
Adil Rashid. Pic/AFP
In what is a big blow to the England team ahead of the series against India, leg-spinner Adil Rashid has ruled himself out of the limited-overs games in order to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Rashid will also miss the latter stages of Yorkshire’s T20 Blast campaign. However, he will return in time for the series against South Africa in mid July.
According to IANS, 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.”
“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.”
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Rashid also added, “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 to cricket, in that sense.”
The leggie is England’s premier white ball spinner and is one of the best in the international game. His unavailability for the India series would cripple England’s wicket-taking ability through the middle-overs.
However, his exclusion from the series could open the door for leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, who made his Test debut recently in the first game against New Zealand.
England could also unleash pacer Brydon Carse through the middle-overs as an x-factor bowler, if included in the squad. He’ll be expected to perform the same role that Liam Plunkett successfully did in the build-up and subsequent World Cup win in 2019.
(With inputs from IANS)