Black Cap who prays five time a day


Ajaz Patel, the 29-year-old India-born left-arm spinner, is believed to be the first Muslim to play for the Black Caps.

He doesn’t see himself as a role model for young Muslims but said if he can inspire anyone to follow their dreams and stick to their beliefs then he would be proud of that.

He says Muslim athletes such as All Black Sonny Bill Williams are great because they bring the topic of religion and sport to the forefront.

“He has been fantastic in terms of creating that awareness around religion and sport. Generally relating awareness for all religions.”

Patel has played cricket since he was a child and never encountered major issues when practising his faith.

“Everyone is really respectful of what everyone believes in,” he says.

But having chosen a sport that takes up the better half of a day, cricket and Islam is a juggling act.

Setting his alarm for prayer at 6am probably won’t make him the perfect room-mate on tour.

” You don’t really want to disturb your room-mates or disturb their routine, but overall everyone has been really accommodating and understanding,” he said.

He prays five times a day, visits the mosque once a week and once a year fasts for an entire month.

Fasting is more of a mental challenge for him than a physical one, but Patel’s belief helps him through it and he has never found it alters his on-field performance.

Patel has finished as the highest wicket-taker in New Zealand’s Plunkett Shield in the last three seasons and has just been included in the Test squad bound for the UAE to play Pakistan in a three-game series this December.


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , , ,