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Pakistan captain Sarfraz suspended for controversial taunt

Last updated on: January 27, 2019 18:14 IST
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Sarfraz will miss the remaining two matches of the ongoing ODI series, with Shoaib Malik leading the side in Sunday's fourth match, as well as the first two matches of the Twenty20 series to follow

IMAGE: Sarfraz will miss the remaining two matches of the ongoing ODI series, with Shoaib Malik leading the side in Sunday's fourth match, as well as the first two matches of the Twenty20 series to follow. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has been suspended for four matches for breaching the anti-racism code in Tuesday's second one-day international against South Africa, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Sunday.

 

Sarfraz's on-field taunt in Urdu was caught by stump microphones but he denied that they were aimed at South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo or anyone else in an apology he issued on Thursday.

Cricket's world governing body said that Sarfraz later accepted that he had breached the ICC's anti-racism code for participants.

"The ICC has a zero-tolerance policy towards conduct of this nature," ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said.

"Sarfraz has 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."

Sarfraz later tweeted that he had apologised to Phehlukwayo, sharing a picture of him shaking hands with the South African.

"He was gracious enough to accept my apology and I hope the people of South Africa also accept my apology," he said.

Sarfaraz, who leads Pakistan in all three formats, became the first Pakistani player to be penalized by the ICC under its anti-racism code.

Sarfraz will miss the remaining two matches of the ongoing ODI series, with Shoaib Malik leading the side in Sunday's fourth match, as well as the first two matches of the Twenty20 series to follow.

The ICC said Sarfraz will undergo a programme to educate him on issues directly relevant to the offence he had committed and would work with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to determine when and how this would take place.

After the ICC announced its decision, the PCB issued a statement expressing surprise at the ban imposed of Sarfaraz.

"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 statement said.

"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," it said.  

The PCB also announced that Sarfaraz would be returning home immediately from South Africa.

Sarfraz was heard on stump microphone of making racist remarks directed at Andile Phehlukwayo.

"Abey kaalay, teri ammi aaj kahan baitheen hain? Kya parhwa ke aya hai aaj tu?(Hey black (man), where is your mother sitting? What prayer did you get her to say for you today)?" Sarfaraz was heard as saying.

South Africa lead the ODI series 2-1.

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