England footballer Adel Rashid and all-around player Moeen Ali spoke to former England captain Owen Morgan on Tuesday about the importance of their faith and the versatility it brings to the England cricket team’s changing room.
In a frank conversation on Sky Sports During the first ODI match between England and South Africa, Moin Ali, who became the first Muslim and British Asian to lead England in a T20, discussed their faith, and Rashid’s recent pilgrimage to Mecca.
Adel Rashid missed England’s white ball series against India and the later stages of the T20 Blast campaign in Yorkshire in order to make a trip to the holy city of Saudi Arabia.
“Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. So we know that we are cricketers and we have role models, but as role models for Muslims are the prophets. We follow as much as possible in terms of fasting and prayer,” Ali said.
“It teaches you patience and gratitude for all you have,” Rashid added.
Rashid holds a leave of absence from the European Central Bank and Yorkshire. He traveled to the Middle East in the last week of June and returned in mid-July before England’s White Ball series against South Africa.
When asked by Morgan if the diversity in the England changing room brought more acceptance, Ali said, “The diversity in the changing room and the dialogue was really good. Whatever differences we might have, when we come into the changing room we put our fingers in In the gauntlet. That’s what we love and cherish the most about this changing room.”
This is not always the case in all changing rooms, this is a very special changing room and it means a lot.”