England leg-spinner Adil Rashid and all-rounder Moeen Ali spoke to former England skipper Eoin Morgan on Tuesday about the importance of their faith and the diversity it brings to the England men’s cricket team’s changing room.
In a candid chat on Sky Sports during the England vs South Africa 1st ODI, Moeen Ali, who became the first Muslim and British Asian to captain England in a T20 game, discussed their faith, and Rashid’s recent Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Adil Rashid missed England’s white-ball series against India and the later stages of Yorkshire’s T20 Blast campaign in order to make the journey to the sacred city in Saudi Arabia.
“Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. So as cricketers we know having role models, but as Muslims role models are the prophets. We follow as much as we can in terms of fasting, and praying,” said Ali.
“It teaches you patience and being grateful for whatever you have,” added Rashid
Rashid was granted leave by the ECB and Yorkshire. He flew to the Middle East in the last week of June and returned mid-July ahead of England’s white-ball series against South Africa.
On being asked by Morgan if diversity in the England team’s changing room has brought in more acceptance, Ali said, “Diversity in the changing room and the dialogue has been really really good. Whatever differences we may have, when we come to the changing room we fit like fingers in a glove. This is what we love and cherish most about this changing room.”
It’s not always the case in all changing rooms, this is a very special changing room and it means a lot,” he concluded.