PCB chairman asked for 'balance' October 21, 2006

Pakistan asked to keep religion private

Cricinfo staff



The Pakistan team in prayer at Bristol on the recent tour of England © Getty Images
Dr Nasim Ashraf, the new chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, has called on players to stop displaying their religious beliefs in public. Recently the Pakistan team has made it a point to pray outside the privacy of their own rooms as well as holding religious gatherings in team hotels.

"There is no doubt their religious faith is a motivating factor in the team," Ashraf told Reuters. "It binds them together. But there should be balance between religion and cricket."

And he said that he had discussed the matter with Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan's captain, and that while he had no concerns about personal beliefs, he told Inzamam that Islam does not allow the imposition of views on others.

"I have told him clearly that there should be no pressure on players who don't pray regularly or any compulsion on them to do it. He has assured me there is no pressure on anyone to do anything they don't want to do."

Ashraf said he accepted religious faith was a motivating factor for the national team. "It binds them together," he added. "But there should be balance between religion and cricket."

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