Yusuf Youhana turns to Islam: Religion in Sports

I was surprised to read about Youhana converting to Islam. Everytime he scores a century, Youhana diligently looked upto the heavens and gestured with the Christian cross sign. So I got the feeling that he was a devout Christian. His permanent presence in the Pak team in the company of Danish Kaneria gave the Pak team semblance of diversity and secularism. Now that is no longer the case. Wonder what is going through Danish Kaneria these days as the odd man out.

Over the years, I have noticed that the Pak team has had an increasing tendency to indulge in a public display of religious fervor — the joint prayers on the field, the captains reference to Allah prior to answering interview questions etc. I don’t see the need to mix religion and sports, especially when games are emotionally charged affairs and spectators on both sides can get out of hand fairly quickly.

I am not against any religion, nor am I against the Pak team, but I think it will help everyone and the game in general if sportstars keep their religious displays off the field. There is enough communal trouble in the world as is, let visible individuals (who automatically become role models) like sportstars downplay religion rather than promote it.

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