Parnell to keep SAB logo

2011-07-28 17:55
Wayne Parnell (File)
Ken Borland - SuperSport

Johannesburg - South African paceman Wayne Parnell has not ruled out continuing to wear the logo of sponsors South African Breweries despite his conversion to Islam, which he made public on Thursday.

SAB have been such exceptional supporters of the national cricket team that the whole question of devout Muslims - for whom liquor is prohibited - wearing their logos needs to be handled delicately.

"Wayne will continue to respect the team’s endorsement of alcoholic beverages. He hasn't really thought about it and made a firm decision, so for now, yes, he will wear the logos," Parnell's agent, Donne Commins, said on Thursday.

Hashim Amla has been a long-standing member of the national team, and does not wear any logos linked to alcohol, also donating his match fee for Test matches to charity.

Parnell and leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who is likely to feature strongly in the Test team, could put extra pressure on the SAB sponsorship if they decide to emulate Amla.

Rob Fleming, the head of sponsorships for South African Breweries, said he was very pleased by Parnell's decision.

"It's great, obviously we're pleased and appreciate the fact that he will continue to respect our endorsement," Fleming said.

There has been speculation that Parnell will change his name, following in the footsteps of Pakistan's Yousuf Youhana, who became Mohammad Yousuf after his conversion to Islam. Two Sri Lankans have changed their names after converting from Islam to Buddhism - Tuwan Mohamed Dilshan became Tillekeratne Dilshan and Mohamed Marshuk Mohamed became Suraj Randiv.

The good news for cricket statisticians and potentially-confused fans is that the Warriors left-armer will be remaining Wayne Parnell for now.

"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," the 21-year-old said in a statement released by Cricket South Africa on Thursday.

Parnell said his conversion had not been a quick process.

"I converted to Islam in January 2011, after a period of personal study and reflection and it is a faith that I have always been interested in."

If Parnell's conversion leads to the same discipline and focus that have made Amla one of the world's most brilliant cricketers, then it will be a fine outcome indeed for South African cricket.

Read more on:    proteas  |  wayne parnell

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