â€œThere was no pressure on Youhana to convert to Islam, PCBâ€ published in national and international media where PCB calls PCP reporting on Yohana â€œ mischievousâ€
26 Sep 2005
Lahore: September 25, 2005, Rubbishing media reports, Pakistan Cricket Board denied there was any pressure on senior middle order bat Yousuf Youhana to convert to Islam.
Youhana, who was the only Christian in the national squad, recently became Mohammed Yousuf after embracing Islam, even though the decision met objection from his parents.
Meanwhile, worried with such reports 'abroad', the Board issued a statement here saying, ''Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been informed of a mischievous report circulating abroad in which PCB 'top officials' have been quoted as stating that Mohammad Yousuf's conversion to Islam was influenced by religious elements in the team.' ''PCB categorically states that Yousuf's decision was entirely personal and that no religious-oriented pressure or influence was brought to bear on him by current or former players. The press report is baseless and should be ignored,'' PCB Director (Board Operations) Abbas Zaidi was quoted as saying.
Media reports here said former Pakistan opener Saeed Anwar was instrumental behind Youhana's conversion.
The Pakistani Christian community has strongly reacted to the incident and a Pakistan Christian Post article criticised the player for the deed.
''My message to Yousuf Youhana - God blessed you while you were Christian and if you think that you would be captain or vice captain then shame on you. You changed your religion because of success? I believe like me there are thousands of other Christians who are disappointed for this action,'' the writer rued.
"Web India Report"