Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has been suspended for four matches after accepting that he was in breach of the ICC’s anti-racism code for his remarks against South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo, cricket’s governing body said in a statement on Sunday.
During the second ODI in Durban, the Pakistani skipper aimed a comment at Phehlukwayo which was deemed as racist and resulted in him being charged with an offence under the ICC’s anti-racism code.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “The ICC has a zero-tolerance policy towards conduct of this nature. Sarfaraz has promptly admitted the offence, was regretful of his actions and has issued a public apology, so these factors were taken into account when determining an appropriate sanction.”
Now, Pakistan Cricket Board has shown disappointment on ICC’s decision regarding Sarfaraz Ahmed.
The PCB has issued the following statement after the International Cricket Council today suspended Pakistan cricket team captain Sarfaraz Ahmed for four matches.
“The PCB notes the ICC decision on Sarfaraz Ahmed with its utmost disappointment. PCB had anticipated that the matter had been resolved amicably between the two players and the two Boards following Sarafraz Ahmed’s public apologies which were accepted by the player, the Board and South Africa cricket team.”
“The PCB will be pursuing this matter at the ICC forums with the objective to bring reforms to the Code, promoting amicable resolutions to issues as opposed to penalties. Having said that, the PCB reiterates its zero-tolerance approach towards racist comments and behavior.”
In consultation with Sarfaraz, it has been decided that he will return to Pakistan immediately. Shoaib Malik will captain the team for the remaining ODIs and T20 internationals of the series, while Mohammad Rizwan has been included in the T20I side.
Earlier, South African cricketers Hashmi Amla, Imran Tahir along with Pakistan’s Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq played a role in resolving matters between Sarfaraz Ahmed and Andile Phehlukwayo, a Pakistani news channel claimed on Saturday.
It was Pakistan’s chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq who made efforts to convince Phehlukwayo, his captain du Plessis and other South African players to accept Sarfraz’s apology.
South African players Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir played a vital role in arranging a meeting between Sarfraz and Phehlukwayo.
On Wednesday, the wicket-keeper batsman had commented on the matter in a series of tweets;
“I wish to extend my sincere apologies to any person who may have taken offence from my expression of frustration which was unfortunately caught by the stump mic during yesterday’s game against SA,” Sarfraz tweeted on Wednesday.
“My words were not directed towards anyone in particular and certainly had no intention of upsetting anyone. I did not even mean for my words to be heard, understood or communicated to the opposing team or the cricket fans.
“I have in the past and will continue in future to appreciate the camaraderie of my fellow cricketers from across the globe and will always respect and honour them on and off the field.” he had added after being caught making the unwanted racial comment on South African player during the 2nd ODI between two teams.
What’s the story?
Sarfraz Ahmed, the captain of the Pakistan cricket team, made some loose comments in the second ODI against South Africa, which once translated to English, can be termed as ‘racist’ as well.
The comment, allegedly directed at Andile Phehlukwayo, was caught by stump mic during South Africa’s batting.
It was 37th over of South Africa’s inning and Shaheen Shah Afridi was bowling. Phehlukwayo inside-edged an Afridi’s delivery to deep fine leg for a single and as he ran off to the non-striker’s end, Sarfraz was caught clearly on the stump mics saying, in Urdu: “Abay kaaly, teri ammi aaj kahaan bethi hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?”.
Translation (in English): “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”