Tuesday, October 03, 2006


A. G Kirpal Singh was born a sikh and he went on to represent India in Test cricket.He was added to the list of Sikh test cricketers in a previous note in this blog.However, there was one fact that was not known to me up until reading the piece " A lot in a name by Ramachandra Guha very recently.
This is what I came to know from Mr Guha's article :
"Before Yohana converted to Islam, a man from Madras (as it was then known) was the only cricketer to have played Test cricket under two religious affiliations. This was A.G. Kripal Singh, who made his debut for India in the mid 1950s as a bearded, turbaned Sardar and returned to the Test team some years later as a clean-shaven Christian. Where the Pakistani changed faith owing to the influence of his team-mate Saeed Anwar, the Indian had a more personal reason — it was in order to marry the woman he loved. Yousuf's name change is visible in the record books, although sometimes missed by the commentators. Did the other fellow also change his name? The scorecards suggest he did not, for, before and after his conversion to Christianity, he played under the name of "A.G. Kripal Singh". However, a Madras cricketer I know, and who was a contemporary of Kripal's, claims that while he did not change his initials, he did change what they stood for, "Amritsar Gurugobind" becoming "Arnold George"
While respecting Mr Amritsar Gurugobind's freedom to be Arnold George for his love, I made this note so that any person reading the list of Sikhi cricketers will know that he no longer remains a believer of sikhism.Further writes Mr Guha :
" More than two thousand men have played Test cricket. Yousuf and Kripal remain the only two to have played while practising two different faiths. Some others have changed or modified their names while retaining their commitment to their ancestral religion."
Link for the original article :


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