An eight year old video of Pakistani cricketer Ahmed Shehzad's religious remark towards Sri Lankan cricketer Tillakaratne Dilshan which had stirred a controversy, has surfaced as recent on social media.
In the 14 seconds long viral clip, Shehzad and Dilshan can be seen walking back to the dressing room as the former is heard advising Dilshan to convert into Islam for its religious benefits. Shehzad tells Dilshan, "If you (are a) non-Muslim and you turn Muslim no matter whatever you do in life, (you go) straight to heaven." Followed by an inaudible reply by the Dilshan, Shehzad says, "Then be ready for the fire."
This video has been shared by Kreately media with a caption in Hindi and English that has taken a dig at the present Pakistan squad of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 and their performance.
The video has been edited to include text in English and Hindi. "हम क्रिकेट खेलने के अलावा हर चीज में माहिर हैं #ICCworldCup2022 #PAKTeam"; the caption translates to, "We are experts in everything except playing cricket. #ICCworldCup2022 #PAKTeam"; the English text reads, "Pak cricketers or Maulavis?"
Click here to see the tweet.
A Facebook page Hindu Ecosystem also shared the video with the same misleading claim. See here.
Incident from September, 2014
BOOM ran a keyword search on Youtube and was able to confirm that the incident is eight years old.
News outlet News X ran a 12 minute long bulletin on the incident on September 4, 2014; the clip is uploaded on their YouTube channel with the title 'Pakistan's Ahmed Shehzad attacks Tillakaratne Dilshan over religion'.
At the 35 second mark of the bulletin, we can see the same viral clip that has been shared by Kreately; in the video Shehzad tells Dilshan to embrace Islam when the two are walking back to the dressing room after Sri Lanka's innings.
According to reports, the video clip is from the third ODI that was played between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, at Dambulla, Sri Lanka on August 30, 2014. Pakistan was touring Sri Lanka and the match was the third of the three ODIs.
Sri Lanka had won the match and the ODI series 2-1.
NDTV Sports further reported that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had investigated the incident. On being questioned, Shehzad had said that it was his personal chat with Dilshan and there was nothing more to it. As no formal complaint by the Sri Lankan player, the cricket board or the umpires had been lodged to the ICC, the matter was not probed further.
An excerpt from the report reads, "Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shaharyar Khan on Friday criticised Ahmed Shehzad for offering religious advice to Sri Lankan player Tillakaratne Dilshan during an ODI last week, saying it was a "stupid statement" on part of the Pakistani batsman." The NDTV Sports quoted Shaharyar as saying, "It was a stupid statement really. He has no business to talk about religion on the field, especially when you are on a foreign tour."
The report further has a reaction from Dilshan, "I don't remember even what I said to him. I have no issues at all. I was just happy with the win."
Tillakaratane Dilshan was born to a Muslim father and Buddhist mother. He dropped his Islamic name and became Tillakaratne Mudiyanselage Dilshan shortly after his international debut in cricket in 1999.
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