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Moeen Ali withdraws from PSL to undertake pilgrimage

Moeen Ali will miss the PSL to travel to Mecca Getty Images

Moeen Ali has opted out of participating in the second season of the Pakistan Super League and will instead join members of his family on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Moeen, who is currently in India with England's limited-overs squad, was named yesterday as a replacement for Carlos Brathwaite in the Quetta Gladiators squad. He had been negotiating through his agent as to his exact availability when the clash of priorities became apparent.

Quetta were quickly informed of his change of plans, and Moeen has now been replaced by the veteran Australian, Brad Hodge, who represented Peshawar Zalmi in last season's inaugural tournament.

"Moeen Ali is a top player and a great person," read a tweet from the franchise. "We respect his decision to honour his family commitment first. Good Luck Moeen."

It is not the first time that Moeen has performed a swift U-turn when it comes to T20 league availability. Last year, he put himself forward for the IPL auction, only to withdraw hours later after the ECB expressed concerns about his workload.

As England's premier spin-bowling allrounder, Moeen played 41 matches for England across all three formats in 2016, including all 17 of their Test matches. He faces an even more intense workload in 2017, with England hosting the Champions Trophy in June, as well as multi-format series against South Africa and West Indies ahead of the Ashes tour in October.

Moeen, a devout Muslim, first performed umrah in November 2009, and credited the "inspirational' experience for a flying start to his county season with Worcestershire the following year.

"I think I came back nice and fresh after that," he said at the time. "It makes a person strong and it was a chance to just get away from cricket."

The second season of the PSL gets underway in the UAE on Feb 9, with the final scheduled to take place in Lahore on March 7.