Why It Is Necessary To Discuss This?
Yes, religion and cricket aren’t remotely related but an incident showed that this isn’t the case. It was Shoaib Akhtar indirectly said it on a Pakistani TV program how a Hindu Pakistani cricketer Danish Kaneria was discriminated against.
While that might be a topic for later discussion, let’s go through those who changed their religion.
List Of Cricketers Who Changed Their Religion
AG Kripal Singh
He was a Sikh by birth but then fell in love with a Christian woman. He then became a Christian to get married to her and removed his Kesh while claiming to be practicing both the religions.
While Vinod did marry two Christian women, he didn’t convert during his first marriage. During his 2nd marital relationship with Andrea Hewitt, he converted to Christianity and went on to name his son Jesus.
In perhaps a rare occasion, Bangladeshi cricketer Hasan became a Hindu from Muslim and went on to change his name to Vikash Ranjan Das.
The South Africa player choose to become a Muslim in 2011. In a strange twist, he said his fellow Muslim teammates had nothing to do with this. Interestingly, while most Muslims converts take up new Islamic names, this hasn’t been in the case of Wayne.
Dilscoop fame Dilshan’s mother was a Buddhist while his father was a Muslim. But later, he became a Buddhist by belief. Besides being a cricketer, he also appears on TV in various entertainment shows.
Another Sri Lankan cricketer who became a Buddhist. After retirement, he is now working as a bus driver in Melbourne. He didn’t have a prolific cricketing career though.
Inzmam Ul Haq claimed that Yusuf’s conversion to Islam led to his batting average getting improved. His wife also converted to Islam with him as well. Now whether he converted out of his genuine interest or because of pressure is a debatable issue.
The reason we say this is because minority rights in Pakistan for Hindus and Christians are almost non-existent.
Why do cricketers change their religion?
Changing religion or converting from one religion to another has several reasons. They can be:
- Changing religion to that of the spouse for whatever reasons like in the case of Vinod Kambli.
- Being genuinely interested in another religion and having the desire to follow it religiously.
- Being forced to convert by teammates or getting motivated from a friend or teammate. Although the example of getting forced isn’t there, many Pakistani cricketers have been found to preaching a particular faith or asking other players to convert.
But the question is, is changing religion necessary? Yes, it is possible to follow good things about any religion without converting but the issue is indeed a personal one.
These were the cricketers who changed their religious affiliation in their lifetime. A point to note here is that religion is a personal matter and as cricket fans, we should focus only on the sport and the players as they are.