In Pakistan’s history, there have been a few non-Muslim cricketers who have represented their country at the international level and given honor to their country. Pakistan cricket has been blessed with several outstanding non-Muslim players, from Wallis Mathias to the cousin combination of Anil Dalpat, Danish Kaneria, and Mohammad Yousuf.
In Pakistan’s brief existence as a Test-playing nation, seven non-Muslim cricketers have represented the country in international matches: five Christians and two Hindus.
Six of them have represented Pakistan in Test matches, while one has only played ODIs for the country.
After Wasim Bari retired, Anil Dalpat was picked for the national team as the first Hindu to play for Pakistan. Anil played 9 Tests for Pakistan between March 1984 and February 1985, all in the span of a year. Dalpat had 69 dismissals behind the wicket in the 1983-84 Pakistan domestic season, which is a Pakistani season record. He has 25 dismissals in nine Tests, with his top score of 52 coming against New Zealand in Karachi in 1984-85.
With the best score of 37 with the willow, Anil Dalpat also played 15 ODIs and caused the same amount of dismissals. Dalpat played in 137 first-class matches, but his international career was cut short after nine Tests and 15 One-Day Internationals. In 1985, he played his final international match against the West Indies at a one-day international in Peshawar.
After Dalpat, Danish Kaneria was Pakistan’s second Hindu cricketer. Kaneria has appeared in 61 Tests for Pakistan and has a total of 261 wickets, the most of any Pakistani spinner. Dalpat’s first cousin is Kaneria. Danish also played for Essex County Cricket Club in England. In 2010, he was probed and found not guilty in a case involving “match irregularities.” In 2012, he was charged with spot-fixing and was banned from playing in England and Wales for the rest of his life. His name has recently come up in the headlines when he was abused for professing his beliefs in the Hindu religion.
Yousuf Youhana (now Mohammad Yousuf), one of Pakistan’s best batsmen, is destined to be remembered as one of the best batsmen the Asian country has ever produced. His father was a Christian Dalit who converted from Hinduism. Yousuf turned to Islam in late 2005. Yousuf had already established himself as one of Pakistan’s most productive batsmen, and the next year proved it. Yousuf had been the only non-Muslim to captain Pakistan before declaring his conversion to Islam in September 2005. He did it during the 2004-5 tour of Australia. The 46-year-last old’s Test was against England at Lord’s in 2010.
Duncan Sharpe was a wicketkeeper-batsman whose family emigrated from England to India in the mid-nineteenth century and were linked to William Thackeray, the renowned English author. Sharpe was born in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi. Duncan Sharpe, an Anglo-Pakistani, only played three Tests for Pakistan in the late 1950s. He batted in the middle order and scored 134 runs at an average of over 22. Sharpe top-scored in both innings in his first Test at the Dacca Stadium in the 1959-60 season, with 56 and 35 respectively. He moved to Australia to play for South Australia in the Sheffield Shield between 1961 and 1966 after playing three Tests for Pakistan.
Wallis Mathias was the first non-Muslim cricketer to represent Pakistan at the international level. At the age of 20, Mathias made his debut appearance against New Zealand in Dhaka in November 1955. He was a solid middle-order batsman who frequently played vital runs to get his team out of difficulty, most notably hitting 64 and 45 against the West Indies in a low-scoring game at Dacca. Wallis appeared in 21 Test matches, accumulating 783 runs at an average of 23.72, including three fifties. He had the best score of 77 and a total of 22 catches. In first-class cricket, he scored 7520 runs at 44.49, with 16 hundred and a high score of 278 not out. He caught 130 first-class passes.