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 that he converted to Islamic faith in January this year and is considering a name change to Waleed, which means ‘Newborn Son’.
“While I have not yet decided on an Islamic name I have considered the
name Waleed which means Newborn Son, but for now my name remains Wayne Dillon Parnell. I will continue to respect the team’s endorsement of alcoholic beverages. I am playing cricket in Sussex and this is my immediate focus,” said Port Elizabeth-born Parnell.
“As I am approaching my first
period of fasting, I ask that this special time is treated with respect.
I am a young man, a professional cricketer by trade, and while I can
appreciate and am grateful for the public interest in my personal life,
my faith choice is a matter which I would like to keep private,” said
the promising Warriors left-arm seam bowler.
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