The religion of Islam forbids the intake of alcohol and other intoxicating substances, as mentioned in the holy book of Quran. Also, the Islamic community forms a major constituency in the cricketing community.
Interestingly, the spirit and brewery industry, over the years, have forged a close relationship with the game of cricket by sponsoring teams, bilateral series and major tournaments.
The iconic Victoria Bitter Tri-series and the ‘Castle Lager’ Test match are some of the examples. Even, Bangalore-based IPL franchise is sponsored by Royal Challenge.
As a result, there exists a perennial conflict of interest between cricketers of the Muslim community and the endorsing of alcohol brands on their jerseys.
Even the likes of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali were seen boycotting traditional celebrations with champagne after England won the 2019 ODI World Cup.
Today, let’s have a look at five cricketers who denied endorsing alcohol brand on their jersey:
1. Imad Wasim
The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is a T20 extravaganza of the West Indies where several cricketing stars around the world assemble mid-year to take part in the event.
Back in the 2016 season, Pakistan all-rounder Imad Wasim was drafted in by Jamaica Tallawahs, which was sponsored by ‘Appleton Estate’, a rum brand.
Wasim refused to go against his religious ideologies and donned a blank on the front of his jersey.
2. Azhar Ali
Pakistan is blessed with one of the most classically pleasing batsmen in Azhar Ali, who has also displayed his prowesses in County Cricket.
Ahead of his stint at Somerset last year, Ali refused to don the logo of their sponsors, Tribute Ale, which is a popular English brewery.
3. Faheem Ashraf
Pakistan all-rounder Faheem Ashraf also faced a similar situation after being bagged by Northamptonshire to feature in the Vitality T20 Blast, last year.
The chief sponsors of the Northants were ‘The Indian Pale Ale’, which is an alcoholic beverage company.
The dispute was resolved after Ashraf was allowed to wear the jersey without the logo in the front.
4. Rashid Khan
Afghanistan’s teenage sensation Rashid Khan turned out to be a successful franchise cricket wayfarer in recent years.
Rashid has featured in top leagues around the world namely Indian Premier League (IPL), CPL, Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), Pakistan Super League (PSL), and Big Bash League (BBL) where he represents top clubs.
In BBL 2017, Rashid is one of the potent forces of the Adelaide Strikers which is sponsored by ‘West End’. The brewers are the oldest in South Australia, founded in 1859.
Moreover, Rashid refused to endorse the logo of the popular beer brand in Australia and went on to pick 18 wickets in the 11 matches, helping the Strikers secure the title.
Overall, in forty matches, the Afghan leggie has picked up 56 wickets at an exceptional strike rate of 16.6. With best figures of 4-22, Rashid holds an impressive economy of 6.3 in BBL cricket.
5. Hashim Amla
One of the greatest ambassadors of the game, Hashim Amla, had an age-old dispute of ideology during his stint with the South African cricket team.
The Proteas were sponsored by the flagship product of South African Breweries, ‘Castle Lager’. Therefore, Amla refused to don the logo of the brand at any time in his glorious international career.
Even fellow teammates Imran Tahir and Farhaan Behardien, also from the Muslim community, was never seen donning the logo of ‘Castle Lager’ on their jerseys.
Amla’s solidity at the top in all forms of cricket is missed by the South African team. He retired from international cricket after a dismal 2019 ODI World Cup.