In another show of support for Muslim cricketers, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) supported Adil Rashid in his quest for hajj, allowing the player to miss some of England’s white-ball series games against India.
The leg-spinner, a practicing Muslim, is preparing to perform hajj this year.
Before making the decision, Rashid asked Rob Key, the managing director of the England Cricket team who encouraged him to make the trip, The Cricketer reported.
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Hajj is an important event in the Islamic calendar as millions of Muslims gather every year in Saudi Arabia city of Makkah to perform the life-time journey.
Hajj consists of several ceremonies, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith. These rituals commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime.
As hajj runs this year from July 7 to July 12, he could miss the first three T20Is [Twenty20 International, a form of cricket] and even the first ODI [One Day International].
He played all three ODIs of the recently concluded Super League series in the Netherlands.
Rashid is not the only international cricketer undertaking this year’s Hajj: Bangladesh veteran Mushfiqur Rahim missed his team’s tour of the West Indies for the pilgrimage.
This is not the first time for ECB to support Muslim cricketers.
Earlier this month, ECB appointed a Muslim inclusion body as an adviser after formed Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq recounted the ‘institutionally racist’ English cricket culture before the parliamentary committee last October.
Nujum Sports, which devised the Muslim athlete charter, will work with the men’s and women’s England teams, the 18 counties and the recreational game.