South African Cricketer ‘Wayne Parnell’ converts to Islam


South African fast bowler Wayne Parnell has converted to Islam after a period of personal study and reflection and will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Friday as a Muslim.

Parnell confirmed in a statement on Thursday, 28th July 2011 that he converted to Islamic faith in January this year and is considering to change his name to Waleed, which means ‘Newborn Son’.

Proteas team manager Mohamed Moosajee, himself a Muslim, said Parnell’s Muslim teammates Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir had not influenced his decision to convert from Christianity.

Supporting Moosajee’s denial of influence by Amla, the players said he had never attempted to convert them to his religion, although they had all been very impressed by the discipline and strict adherence that Amla showed to his religion, by refusing to participate in celebrations with them that involved liquor, staying steadfast in his daily prayers even while on tour, and refusing to wear the kit sponsored by South African beer brand Castle Lager.

He is the second Christian to have converted to Islam after Pakistan’s Yousuf Youhana (now Mohammad Yousuf) in 2006.

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