The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has formed an internal inquiry committee to look into the matter of Ahmed Shehzad’s religious comments to Sri Lanka opener Tillakaratne Dilshan.
In a video posted on a website, the Pakistan batsman can be seen talking to Dilshan while coming back from the ground at the end of the third ODI between the two countries.
Shehzad was caught on camera stating to Dilshan that “if you are a non-Muslim and you turn Muslim, no matter whatever you do in your life, [you’ll go] straight to heaven.”
One of the directors of the PCB has been asked to lead the internal inquiry.
There had been reports that Dilshan had earlier converted from Islam to Buddhism, while other reports suggest that his father was a Muslim and his mother a Buddhist.
Earlier in his career, he was known as Tuwan Mohamed Dilshan, but later changed his name to Tillakaratne Dilshan.
“The PCB has formed a three-member committee to inquire into the matter of Shehzad’s conversation with Dilshan,” a PCB official told The Express Tribune.
“We’re closely monitoring the situation, but so far we’ve not received any official complaint from either Dilshan or Sri Lanka Cricket. It’s a one-off and personal matter between these two players.”
The recent controversy may harm Shehzad’s chances of becoming the next T20 captain of Pakistan; he had been strong contender for the post after Mohammad Hafeez relinquished the captaincy after Pakistan’s dismal campaign at the World Twenty20 this year.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2014.