6 famous cricketers who changed their names, Pakistan-Sri Lanka players also included, know what was the reason

Orhan Wadia
Orhan Wadia - Editor
8 Min Read


New Delhi. The great playwright William Shakespeare said, 'What's in a name?' Taking this seriously, some cricketers have changed their names for various reasons. Some took this decision before starting their international cricket career, while some did it while playing cricket. Some cricketers changed their name after changing their religion, while some did it by adding their nationality to their name. Some cricketers have also changed their names due to mispronunciation and being influenced by a personality.

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The latest name in the list of these cricketers who have changed their names is that of England's T20 and ODI team captain Jos Buttler. Joseph Charles Butler has released a video message and changed his name from 'Jos Butler' to 'Josh Butler'. Playing for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2024, Butler released a video message in April saying, 'Hi.. I am Jos Buttler, captain of England's white ball team, but I have been called with the wrong pronunciation all my life. From common people on the street to my mother, even on my birthday card… Dear Josh, you are getting old now. Happy birthday, lots of love: mother. My name was also misspelled on my MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). However, after representing the country for 13 years and winning two World Cups, it is now time to sort out this problem. Now I am officially 'Josh Butler'. It is a different matter that despite the name change, Butler is being written as 'Jos' instead of 'Josh' in many places. Even in most cricket profiles the name of 'Jos Buttler' has not been changed to 'Josh Butler'.

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Let's take a look at other prominent cricketers who have changed their names…

Tuwan Mohammed Dilshan became Tillakaratne Dilshan

Tillakaratne Dilshan is considered one of the leading batsmen of Sri Lanka. His records in all three formats of cricket are excellent. Dilshan, who batted aggressively, also proved useful in off-break bowling. He was the first to invent the shot of hitting over the wicketkeeper in cricket, which was named “Dale Scoop” after him. Many people may not know that Tillakaratne, who was born in a Muslim family, was actually named Tuwan Mohammed Dilshan. His father was a Muslim and mother was Buddhist. After his parents separated, Dilshan adopted Buddhism and changed his name to Tillakaratne Mudiyanselage Dilshan. In his 17-year international career, he played 87 Tests, 330 ODIs and 80 T20 matches. He has scored 5492 runs and 39 wickets in Tests, 10,290 runs and 106 wickets in ODIs and 1889 runs and 9 wickets in T20Is.

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Mashruk Mohammad Sooraj changed his name to Sooraj Randive

The story of Sri Lankan spinner Mashruk Mohammad Suraj alias Suraj Randiv is similar to that of Dilshan. He played 12 Tests, 3 ODIs and 7 T20 matches for Sri Lanka as an off-break bowler. Suraj was born in 1985 in a family that believed in Islam. The cricketer converted to Buddhism in 2010 and since then he is known as Suraj Randiv. Suraj's name came into the news when he allegedly deliberately bowled a no ball to prevent Virender Sehwag from scoring a century in an ODI match against India. In this ODI, which was part of the triangular series in 2010, Team India and Sehwag needed 1 run to win. In such a situation, Randiv bowled a 'long' no ball due to which India won the match and Sehwag was deprived of a century. Suraj took 43 wickets in 12 Tests, 36 in three ODIs and only 7 wickets in 7 T20s

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Yousuf Yohana became Mohammed Yousuf

Yousuf Yohana's name is taken with respect among Pakistani batsmen. Born in a Christian family, Yousuf scored 1788 runs in Test cricket in a calendar year in 2006. His record has not been broken even after 18 years. Yousuf also holds the record for most centuries (9) and most 150+ scores in a calendar year. Born in Lahore, Yousuf played 90 Tests, 288 ODIs and three T20 matches for Pakistan. In Tests, he scored 7530 runs with the help of 24 centuries, 9720 runs with the help of 15 centuries in ODIs and 50 runs in T20Is. Influenced by the speeches of Saeed Anwar during his cricket career, Yousuf converted to Islam and changed his name to Mohammad Yousuf.

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Asghar added 'Afghan' to his name

Afghanistan's Asghar Afghan is also among the cricketers who changed their names. Asghar, who was the captain of the Afghanistan team, was originally named Asghar Stanikzai, but he changed it to 'Asghar Afghan' to give himself an Afghan identity. Asghar has played 6 Tests, 114 ODIs and 75 T20 matches between 2009 and 2021. He has also scored a century in Tests and ODIs.

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Singer was influenced by Bob, Robert George Willis became 'Bob Willis'

Bob Willis, who is more than six feet tall, is considered one of England's greatest fast bowlers. Bob, who was the captain of the England team for many years, took 325 wickets in 90 Test matches and 80 wickets in 64 ODIs. The real name of this former fast bowler was Robert George Della Willis. He was influenced by American singer Bob Dylan and became Bob Willis by adding 'Bob' to his name in 1965. He gained popularity in cricket with this name. Bob, who played international cricket from 1971 to 1984, died in 2019 at the age of 70.

Similarly, Indian all-rounder Axar Patel's name was earlier written as Akshar in English, but it was mistakenly written as Axar in his school certificate. Since then his name is being written as Axar in English.

tag: Akhar Patel, Jos Buttler, above the ground, Test cricket

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