Former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden, who has been appointed as the Batting Coach of the Pakistan cricket team for the 2021 T20 World Cup, has revealed that he was gifted a copy of the Quran by Pakistani cricketer Muhammad Rizwan. In an interview given to News Corp Australia, Hayden said that Rizwan gave him an English version of the Islamic Holy Book.
Matthew Hayden said that he was curious about Islam, and knowing this, Rizwan gifted him an English translation of the Holy Quran. He informed that the duo also talked about Islam and its beliefs, and he is reading Quran a bit daily. Talking about the moment when he was given the book, Hayden said, “It was Rizzy (Mohammad Rizwan) and I have to say it was a beautiful moment I will never forget. I am curious about Islam even though I am a Christian. One follows Christ and the other Muhammad and in a sense never shall meet but he presented me with an English version of the Quran. We sat on the floor for half an hour and talked through it. I am reading a bit of it each day. Rizzy is one of my favourite individuals, a champion human being.”
Hayden also praised the Pakistani cricket team for the spirituality of the cricketers. “I was taken aback by how neutral and humble these guys are. How everything is just meant to be. It has been great fun. They are really coachable athletes as well. It stems from a deep sense of spirituality. As a westerner, you don’t realize the implications of having that commitment and faith. Even their salat – their five different prayer sessions a day. You can be outside a lift or even in a lift and if it is time for salat that is what happens. These guys connect at a higher level. It’s not like ‘how ya going, today mate?’” he said.
Earlier also Matthew Hayden had talked about the spirituality of Pakistani cricketers. He had said that the current unit of the Pakistan Cricket Team is united and focused on their ultimate goal. He said he has witnessed remarkable spirituality that bonds the team which he has not seen in any other team, and the team has spectacular discipline. Hayden had informed that the whole team prays together and this is the incredible experience of his life.
“Every day there is this unbelievable discipline. You can be walking to the lift, and there will be prayer time and at the base of the lift, there will be the whole of the team praying in unison. It’s a phenomenal cultural experience for me personally,” Hayden had stated.
While Hayden is all praise for the spirituality of the Pakistani cricketers, some Twitter users saw this from a different angle. Many Twitter users, mainly from India, said that Muhammad Rizwan is trying to convert Matthew Hayden to Islam by gifting the copy of Quran.
Is Mathew Hayden going to convert to Islam? It looks like so…. 🤔— Dr. M. Kumar Shastry 🇮🇳 (@MarkKumar3) November 11, 2021
New name could be Mohammad Hamza? He already got a copy of Quran. Only thing missing is long beard and that's it! @HaydosTweets https://t.co/hpKN6tT0C8
Reports: Pak cricketer Mohammad Rizwan tries to convert Coach Hayden by gifting him a Quran with english translation.— Frontalforce 🇮🇳 (@FrontalForce) November 11, 2021
As expected they are now trying to convert Hayden. Earlier these beggers unsuccessfully tried to convert Lara and Dilshan. Hope Hayden survives this. https://t.co/do1bRM5Arg— पुष्यमित्र शुंग (@IndicResistence) November 10, 2021
Some people even ‘warned’ other cricketers that they may be the next target of this ‘conversion attempt’.
Beware Kohli pic.twitter.com/GBvdJ754lm— Mihir Jha (@MihirkJha) November 11, 2021
It is notable in this regard that several Pakistani cricketers are known for their communal bigotry against non-Muslims. Several cricketers like Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Saeed Anwar, Muhammad Yusuf etc have made communal remarks against non-Muslims. Moreover, it was revealed that ex-cricketer Danish Kaneria was mistreated by the team and the administration for being Hindu.