Pakistan cricket

Youhana converts to Islam

Cricinfo staff

September 17, 2005

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Yousuf Youhana aka Mohammad Yousuf © AFP
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Yousuf Youhana will be known henceforth as Mohammad Yousuf, after it was revealed that he had converted from Christianity to Islam. Yousuf, who was the only Christian in the Pakistan team, revealed he had taken the step after attending preaching sessions from a leading religious group.

It is reported that his wife also converted with him, about three months ago, but it was decided he would not go public with the news for family reasons. According to Pakistan's newspapers, his parents are furious.

"I don't want to give Yousuf my name after what he has done," his mother was quoted as saying by the Daily Times newspaper. "We came to know about his decision when he offered Friday prayers at a local mosque. It was a shock."

Youhana told reporters he had converted of his own free will, after attending regular preaching sessions of Tablighi Jamaat, Pakistan's largest non-political religious grouping, which includes among its members Youhana's former Pakistan team-mate, Saeed Anwar.

"I cannot tell you what a great feeling it is," he told the BBC. Officials in the Pakistan cricket board confirmed that members of the Tablighi Jamaat have been visiting the board's offices and training camps regularly over the last several years.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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