Cricket: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed suspended after racist comment

  • 28/01/2019
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed. Photo credit: AAP

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has been banned for four matches after he admitted breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-racism code.

During the second ODI against South Africa in Durban on Wednesday (NZ time), Sarfraz was picked up on the stump microphone making remarks that could be construed as racist towards Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo.

The taunt was in Pakistani, but according to ESPNcricinfo, translated to English, it means: "Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?"

Sarfraz subsequently posted on Twitter to offer his "sincere apologies" to anyone he may have offended, insisting his words were simply an expression of his frustration and not directed at any individual.

The wicket-keeper will miss two one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches, all against South Africa.

"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," said ICC chief executive David Richardson.

"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.

"As per Article 7.3 of the 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 ICC will work with the PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board] to determine when and how this should take place."

Though Sarfraz is eligible to return for the final T20 match, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) indicated that his tour was over.

"In consultation with Sarfraz, it has been decided that he will return to Pakistan immediately," the statement added. "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."

The Blackcaps will face Pakistan at the upcoming Cricket World Cup on June 26.


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