England’s star spinner Adil Rashid, in a Zoom session with BBC Sport, claimed that cricket can stand in the way of one’s religion while revealing that he had been unable to perform the Hajj pilgrimage because of a hectic cricket season.
Rashid claimed that he had not had the chance to make the trip for the Hajj pilgrimage in the last few seasons because the cricket schedule used to run from April to September.
“Sport can come in the way of your religion. The cricket season takes place from April to September. That is when the Hajj pilgrimage has generally taken place over the last few years so I have not had the opportunity to make the trip,” said Rashid.
“This Ramadan is very different. The last 10-15 years, I have been away every Ramadan playing sport and doing cricket training. We were always on the go but this Ramadan there are no excuses. We can keep all 30 fasts, we can read and learn more, maybe another language, so it has been a blessing in disguise,” he added.
The leg-spinner revealed that the England team’s environment was very different before 2015 as the players did not know much about Islam.
“It was a bit different in 2015 when myself and Moeen Ali came together into the England team, the players did not know much about Islam. The dressing room is so good now, they understand when we read our prayers, we need to go into a quiet corner and they will not disturb us. They also ask a lot of questions about Islam which is positive for us as Muslims because our job is to give dawah [invitation to Islam] and they understand it more now,” he said.
The 32-year-old further stated that he attempted to remain humble throughout his cricketing journey, despite fame tingling with his mindset.
“I try to stick in my bubble, try to remain humble and down to earth regardless of how much fame one can get. It is so easy to go off the rails with a bit of fame in terms of losing your identity as a Muslim. I am sure we have all been through that,” he concluded.