ICL: Indian Cricket League

New faith has strengthened me in every way, says Yousuf



Yousuf, one of the few Christians to play for Pakistan, converted to Islam last year and has since become a run-making machine.

Before becoming a Muslim, Yousuf averaged in the 40s in Test cricket. He has been scoring runs at an average of over 90 since his conversion. He has scored over a 1000 Test runs since his decision to convert at an astonishing average of 92.63.

On Sunday, he completed a glorious double ton here against England and said it was “all because of Allah”.

“Everything I do I do it for Allah and I thank Allah for everything, all the time,” said Yousuf whose 202 saved Pakistan from complete disaster. He scored 223 the last time he played in a Test against England last winter at home.

Yousuf, an elegant right-handed batsman, has no doubts that his new belief has everything to do with his excellent run of form. “Becoming a Muslim has made me a better man in every sense. As a cricketer, I am more disciplined because I pray five times a day. I feel stronger because of my faith in Allah,” he stated.

The English press was amazed when Yousuf told them he gets up at 4.30 in the morning daily to say his first prayers, adding that he never misses any of his prayers. “How are you able to pray five times on a day like this when you were out there for so many hours,” asked one scribe.

“I woke up today like any other day. Then I prayed at tea while the remaining two prayers are to come later in the evening,” Yousuf replied.

Another asked: “That means you don’t sleep a lot, do you?” Yousuf’s answer: “I manage enough sleep.”

He added that for him what matters is inner strength and that comes from a complete faith in Allah.

Yousuf did show that he could do better than most even with the little sleep that he gets as he eclipsed England’s three century-makers with a knock that could well go down as one of the best at this historic venue.

Yousuf himself described it as one of his best, saying that the England attack was not as easy to tackle as it may have seemed from outside the field. “England have some of the best bowlers in the world and they did bowl well,” said Yousuf. “Then there was also a lot of pressure on me because England had scored so many runs and we needed to do well to remain in the game.

I really thank Allah for helping me do my bit.”

Yousuf expressed that though Pakistan conceded a first innings lead, the tourists have not made a bad start to this Test series, saying, “We went into this match after injuries to several of our key players which is why I don’t think we have started too badly.”

Pakistan took the field at Lord’s without their key bowlers Shoaib Akhtar, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Mohammad Asif while middle-order batsman Younis Khan and opener Shoaib Malik were also missing, all of them due to injuries.

Source:The News

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