Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, has been suspended for four games after accepting breach of ICC’s Anti-Racism Code. Sarfraz, during the 2nd ODI, made a general comment when South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo was batting. The ICC code is clear with regards to any form of racism.
“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 now miss the last 2 matches of the ODI series and 2 matches of the T20I series. He will also undergo an education programme to promote the understanding and awareness of issues directly relevant to the offense that he has committed. The ICC will work with the PCB to determine when and how this should take place.
ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle conducted the initial investigation and spoke to both players. ICC General Counsel, Iain Higgins, determined the player had a case to answer and was charged officially on 26th January.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “The ICC has a zero-tolerance policy towards the conduct of this nature. Sarfaraz has promptly admitted the offense, was regretful of his actions and has issued a public apology, so these factors were taken into account when determining an appropriate sanction.”
Sarfraz had earlier issued a general apology as well as a personal apology to Andile Phehlukwayo. However, ICC has decided to clamp further and ban Sarfraz for 4 matches. In his absence, Mohammad Rizwan will keep wickets for Pakistan, while Shoiab Malik shall lead the side.
The way announcement was made also raised eyebrows. Shoiab Malik and Faf du Plessis during toss of the 4th ODI confirmed that Sarfraz Ahmed had been banned. ICC, about 30 minutes later released a press release.