Pakistan cricket team’s captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has been charged and suspended for 4 international games. The International Cricket Council (ICC) found him guilty for making racist comments against Andile Phehlukwayo in the 2nd ODI against South Africa in Durban.
The 31-year-old will miss the last 2 ODIs of the series and the first 2 T20Is. According to Article 7.3 of the Anti-Racism Code, Sarfraz will also undertake an education programme “to promote the understanding and awareness of issues directly relevant to the offence that he has committed”.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that Sarfaraz will return home immediately. Mohammad Rizwan has been called-up for the T20I squad. Shoaib Malik will lead the side in Sarfaraz’s absence. The captain had termed Phehlukwayo black and his Urdu sentence translated to, “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”
“The ICC has a zero-tolerance policy towards conduct of this nature. Sarfaraz [sic] 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,” David Richardson, ICC’s chief executive said as quoted by Cricbuzz.
PCB disappointed with the suspension of Sarfaraz
After the incident, Sarfaraz had apologized to Phehlukwayo in person. He had also issued an apology on Twitter. However, PCB is disappointed with ICC’s decision to suspend him. The Board felt that the matter should have been resolved after the South African all-rounder had accepted the apology.
“The PCB notes the ICC decision on Sarfaraz Ahmed with its utmost disappointment,” the statement read. “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.”