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Did Pakistan's Ahmed Shehzad 'offend' Dilshan with his religious banter?

Pakistan Cricket Board to probe Ahmed Shehzad for allegedly making a religious comment to Sri Lankan all-rounder Tillakaratne Dilshan while walking back to the pavilion after the 3rd ODI between the two sides at Dambulla

Islamabad: Religious comments by Pakistan batsman Ahmed Shehzad to Sri Lanka player Tillakaratne Dilshan after their one-day international last Saturday are being investigated by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Pakistan on Thursday said it has set up a committee to look into a religious spat between their opener Ahmed Shahzad and Sri Lankan counterpart Tillakaratne Dilshan last month.

While the players were walking back to the dressing room in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, Shehzad was caught on camera telling Dilshan "if you are a non-Muslim and you turn Muslim, no matter whatever you do in your life, straight to heaven."

Dilshan replied he doesn't want to go there, to which Shahzad replied: "Then be ready for the fire."

Ahmed ShehzadAhmed Shehzad

Shehzad was summoned to PCB headquarters in Lahore on Wednesday and asked about his comments, board general manager media Agha Akbar told the Associated Press.

"Ahmed has informed the PCB that it was his personal chat with Dilshan, and there was nothing more to it," Akbar said. "What we understand is that no Sri Lanka Cricket official or our own manager lodged any complaint."

The footage went viral on the internet, prompting the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to summon Shahzad on Wednesday.

A PCB spokesman said the matter will be investigated by an internal committee headed by director of international cricket Zakir Khan.

"We have formed an internal committee under Zakir and have also written to Sri Lanka Cricket whether they have any complaint," said spokesman Agha Akbar.

Pakistan team manager Moin Khan said no official complaint was lodged after the match. "It happened on the last day of the tour but there as no official complaint by match officials or Sri Lankan players so I think it must be a general thing," said Moin.

Dilshan was born to a Muslim father and a Buddhist mother and was known as Tuwan Mohamed Dilshan. He shed his Muslim name shortly after his international debut in 1999 and took up the name Tillakaratne Mudiyanselage Dilshan with an ethnic Sinhalese-Buddhist identity.

His childhood coach Ranjan Paranavitana said even though Dilshan carried a Muslim name, he and his brothers and sisters followed their mother's religion from their childhood.

Dilshan scored an unbeaten 50 on Saturday and powered the home team to a seven-wicket victory in the ODI series decider.

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