The South African left-arm fast bowler Wayne Parnell has accepted Islam as his new religion. He, if selected in future, will now be third Muslim in current South African team along with Hashim Amla and Pakistan born Imran Tahir.
A South African news agency Independent Online published news that Wayne Parnell has converted to Islamic faith. Proteas’ team manager Dr Mohammad Moosajee confirmed the news by saying: “It was his choice to embrace Islam.”
Another South African news site also says that he has not finalized his Islamic name yet but it is likely to be Waleed. As of now he is Wayne Dillon Parnell.
Some forwarded text messages are of the view that Proteas ODI vice-captain Hashim Amla’s influenced Parnell’s conversion from Christianity to Islam. However, Parnell’s agent Ismail Kajee has denied this rumor.
Wayne Parnell, who is about to turn 22, was captain of South Africa’s team in U/19 WC 2008. He made his Test debut in 2010 against England after making his ODI debut in 2009 against Australia.
Parnell is a left-arm bowler who relies on his pace and is highly regarded as limited-over cricket specialist. In ODIs, so far, he has taken 31 wickets in 19 games. He is also known for his hostile, yorker-infested, spell against Pakistan in ICC World T20 Semi Final 2009 in Nottingham.
He has also represented Delhi daredevils and Pune Warriors in IPL 2010 and 2011 respectively. Currently, he is a team-mate of Rana Naveed-ul-Hassan and Umar Gul in Sussex county’s campaign in Friends life t20 in England.Parnell is currently playing cricket for English county Sussex.
"I converted to Islam in January 2011, after a period of personal study and reflection and it is a faith that I have always been interested in," Parnell said in a statement on Thursday. He also asked that the issue be treated with respect as he approaches his first period of fasting. "My faith choice is a matter which I would like to keep private."
Parnell confirmed that he will "continue to respect the team's endorsement of alcoholic beverages." South Africa's Test team is sponsored by Castle Lager, a local beer. Hashim Amla, also of Muslim faith, does not wear the beer logo on his playing kit after making a special arrangement with CSA because of his religious beliefs.
Courtesy: Pakistan Inside, Espn Cricinfo