Viral posts misidentify Pakistani cricketer as foreign player

The cricketer in the photo is Rizwan Hussain

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Claim: A picture shows a white cricketer in a Multan Sultan’s jersey offering prayer despite not knowing what to recite. 

Fact: The cricketer in the photo has been misidentified. He is not a foreign cricketer but is, in fact, first-class Pakistani cricketer Rizwan Hussain, who was part of the Multan Sultans team in the Pakistan Super League.

Fact or Fiction?

On 8 February 2022, Facebook page MTC Computers shared a photo claiming that a white cricketer can be seen offering prayer despite not knowing what to recite.

The post’s caption reads, “اب اس گورے کو نہیں معلوم کے نماز میں پڑھنا کیا ہے. لیکن محمد رضوان کی امامت میں ٹیم ملتان سلطان کو نماز پڑھتے دیکھ کر یہ بھی ٹرینگ سیشن چھوڑ کے ان کے ساتھ جماعت میں شامل ہو گیا. کسی کو نصیحت کرنے سے اچھا ہے اپ خود ایسے اعمال رکھیں کے سامنے والا دیکھ کر آپ کے جیسا کرنے کی کوشش کریں. منوانے سے اچھا ہے متاثر کریں

[Now this white person does not know what to offer in salah but after seeing Multan Sultans’ team offering prayers led by Mohammad Rizwan, he has also left his training session to join the congregation. Instead of giving advice to someone, it’s better to inspire others with your actions so that people start following you]

Soch Fact Check found the claim to be false as the person circled in the photo has been misidentified. The man wearing a Multan Sultan’s jersey is not a foreign or white cricketer. He is, in fact, Rizwan Hussain, a left-handed batsman from Pakistan who was picked by the Multan Sultans for the Pakistan Super League’s seventh edition. 

Soch Fact Check also got in touch with the Multan Sultans who confirmed this. 

Other people in the photo that Soch Fact Check was able to identify include Sultans’ spin bowler Imran Tahir, as well as fitness trainer Malang Ali, who is associated with Lahore Qalandars. 

Hussain made his PSL debut with Islamabad United. He has been playing first-class cricket since 2016 but has not yet played for the country’s national cricket team. 

Virality

According to a CrowdTangle analysis conducted by Soch Fact Check, the search term “اس گورے کو نہیں معلوم کے نماز میں پڑھنا کیا ہے [This white person does not know what to recite in prayers]” turned up 183 posts on Facebook which received a cumulative 43,830  interactions over the thirty days leading up to 2 March 2022.

Multiple pages also picked up the claim, including here, here, here, here and here, among others. 

Apna Pothohar Web TV’s post published 13 February 2022 received 446 likes and 102 shares. It is also performing eight times better than other similar posts. 

Of the posts which gained significant traction, Wk Sports post received 2,300 likes and 247 shares, پکیاں رپوٹاں post received 1,800 likes and 324 shares, Heroes of Pakistan’s post received  1,700 likes and 135 shares, and Hamari Point’s post received 1,400 likes and 338 shares. 

The claim was also shared on different Facebook groups, including here, here, here and here

Conclusion: The claim that the cricketer is a foreign player is false as he has been misidentified. The man who can be seen praying in the photograph is, in fact, Rizwan Hussain, a first-class cricketer from Pakistan.

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