Changing the name in the middle of the international career is something very rare with cricketers. Not a lot of them have done it, but there have been a few who have changed their names for various reasons.
One of the reasons has been the change of religion. Some of the cricketers who changed their names had to do it because they changed their religion and they had to use a name complying with their religion.
Cricketers, however, sometimes change their names due to astrological and numerological reasons as well. Here are the 5 cricketers who changed their names –
#1 Mohammad Yousuf
Mohammad Yousuf was born in a Christian family in Pakistan, but he later decided to convert himself into a Muslim because of his strong beliefs in the religion of Islam. He removed Youhana and added Mohammad to his name after his conversion.
Yousuf, who is already retired from international cricket, had a really illustrious international career for Pakistan and after his retirement, he is now a religious preacher.
#2 Asghar Afghan
Asghar Afghan, who is now the captain of Afghanistan in all three formats of the game, was named Asghar Stanikzai at the start of his international career, but a few years later, he changed his name by removing Stanikzai and adding Afghan as his title.
Asghar did not disclose any particular reason for doing that and just said he was “proud” to have added Afghan to his name.
#3 Tillakaratne Dilshan
Tillakaratne Dilshan was born to a Muslim father and a Buddhist mother in Sri Lanka and he was initially named Mohammad Dilshan, but after the separation of his mom and dad, Dilshan decided to adopt the religion of his mom and converted to Buddhism. He removed Mohammad from his name and added Tillakaratne.
Dilshan turned out to be one of Sri Lanka’s most successful openers in white-ball cricket.
#4 Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi
Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi was the sixth Nawab of Pataudi and was called Nawab Pataudi junior at the start of his career, but when the government of India ceased to recognize princely titles, Pataudi started using his actual name which was Mansur Ali Khan.
Pataudi, despite struggling with his eye-sight, performed for India with distinction at the highest level, as he scored 6 Test match hundreds in the 46 Test matches he played and averaged close to 35 with the bat.
#5 Bob Willis
Bob Willis, who is one of the most impressive fast bowlers to have played Test match cricket for England, didn’t have “Bob” in his original name. His original name was Robert George Willis.
But, he added Bob to his name after getting hugely impressed by the personality and the demeanor of the American musician named Bob Dylan.
Willis actually went through a proper legal procedure to add “Bob” to his name and get himself converted to Bob Willis from Robert Willis.
Willis played 90 Test matches for England and got 325 wickets at a bowling average of 25.20 with as many as 16 five-wicket hauls to his name. Willis also got 80 wickets in 64 One Day Internationals that he played.