Dubai: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has been suspended for four matches for his racist outburst against South African all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo during the second One-Day International (ODI) last Tuesday. According to the International Cricket Council (ICC), Sarfraz has accepted that he was in breach of the ICC’s anti-racism code for participants.
“Sarfraz aimed a comment at South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo which resulted in Sarfraz being charged with an offence under the code, namely engaging in any conduct (whether through the use of language, gestures or otherwise) which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify any reasonable person in the position of a player, player support personnel, umpire, match referee, umpire support personnel or any other person (including a spectator) on the basis of their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin.
“Sarfraz will miss the remaining two matches of the ongoing ODI series as well as the first two matches of the T20I series to follow,” the ICC said in a statement on Sunday. “As per Article 7.3 of the ICC’s anti-racism code, Sarfraz will also have to undergo an education programme to promote the understanding and awareness of issues directly relevant to the offence that he has committed,” the statement added. “The ICC will work with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to determine when and how this should take place.”
The incident happened during the 37th over of the second One-Day International (ODI) between South Africa and Pakistan in Durban on Tuesday. As Phehlukwayo ambled across to the non-striker’s end while taking a single, the Pakistan captain could be clearly heard saying on the stump mike: “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?” (Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What prayer have you said today?). The incident was initially reported by match referee Ranjan Madugalle after he conducted initial investigations and spoke to both players after the match.
Following a further investigation, ICC general counsel Iain Higgins then determined that the player had a case to answer under the code, and the player was issued with a charge notice on January 26. “The ICC has a zero-tolerance policy towards conduct of this nature. Sarfraz 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,” ICC chief executive David Richardson said.