Religious beliefs have long been a part of humanity. Cricketers are no different, with players frequently gazing up to the sky to offer prayers to the deity before taking the strike or after they score a century. It is not limited to just one or a few teams; practically every player in the world of cricket has similar religious views. You can find players of different religions on every online fantasy cricket platform. Cricket and religion, on the other hand, are unrelated, and there should be no specific debate about any player’s faith. However, anytime a well-known cricket player changes his religion, it is widely publicized throughout the world.
In this article, we will talk about five players who have changed their religion during their cricketing careers.
Mahmudul Hasan, a 28-year-old Bangladesh cricketer, grabs a place on the list after converting from Muslim to Hinduism. He was a member of the 2008 Under-19 World Cup squad before leading the side to victory in their home series against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and England in 2009. Hasan represented Bangladesh in one Test match under the name Mahmudul Hasan and then converted to Hinduism. As he converted his religion from Muslim to Hindu, he changed his name to Vikash Ranjan Das, and from that time onwards, he never again played for his home country.
Dilshan was Sri Lanka’s former captain and opening batsman. He was born into an Islam-following Malaysian family. He is well renowned for his cricketing career, in which he proved to be unstoppable. Taiwan Mohammad Dilshan was his given name when he was born. However, when he was 16, his parents divorced, and he went on to live a turbulent life. During this time, he opted to follow his mother’s religion, Buddhism. Once he started following Buddhism, he changed his name to Tillakaratne Dilshan. Like Dilshan, there are many more players in the cricketing world who have changed their religion and you can even find some players listed in fantasy apps for cricket.
Wayne Parnell, a former South African fast bowler, was drawn to Islam and hence converted his religion from Christianity to Islam. According to sources, his choice was influenced by his close friend Hashim Amla. The team management, on the other hand, has stated that neither Amla nor Tahir played any role in Parnell’s religion-changing decision. Wayne stated that his decision was entirely personal and had nothing to do with his colleagues. After converting to Islam on July 30, 2021, Wayne changed his name to Waleed.
Vinod Kambli was a former Indian cricketer and was born into a Hindu family in Pune, Maharashtra. In 1998, he married a Christian girl, but the couple later got divorced. He then married a Christian girl once again and changed his religion to Christian. He did say, though, that this was a personal decision and that he still respects all religions. Kambli has represented India in more than a hundred international matches.
The fact that Pakistani batsman Yousuf Youhana turning to Mohammad Yusuf must be known to the whole cricketing globe. Yusuf was widely known as one of the best batsmen in the world back in the 2000s. Back in 2005-2006, Yousuf astonished everyone after he converted to Islam. He grew a long beard after converting from Christianity to Islam. Later, the former cricketer said that he made this decision after attending preaching sessions by a prominent religious organisation in Pakistan.
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Changing religion is completely a person’s own choice and it doesn’t mean hatred for any particular religion. Apart from these players, there are many more who have converted to different religions but what’s common is they respect every religion.