Sarfraz Ahmed, captain of the Pakistan cricket team, is banned for four matches on account of his racist comment about Andile Phehlukwayo, the South Africa all-rounder. The ICC said that the captain has violated the anti-racism code during a one-day international, held in Durban.
The 31-year-old captain apologised later on saying that his words were not meant for a particular person. According to the ICC, Sarfraz will have to stay away from the team during two one-day internationals and two T20 matches against South Africa.
“Sarfraz has promptly admitted the offence and was regretful of his actions and has issued a public apology. These factors were taken into account when determining an appropriate sanction,” said the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) chief executive David Richardson.
The wicketkeeper has used the word ‘kaale’, meaning black in Urdu, which was caught on a microphone attached to a stump.
After Sarfraz was charged under a section related to conduct, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) responded by stating that it doesn’t tolerate any kind of racist comments and behaviour, but it also expressed great disappointment with the ICC’s decision.
According to PCB, they believed that the matter was settled post the captain’s apology and also stated that it would rebuild the anti-racism code at ICC forums in the future. The rest of the South Africa tour will see Shoaib Malik as the captain instead of Sarfraz, who would return to Pakistan. This change has already turned effective since the fourth ODI in Johannesburg, held on Sunday.
Mohammad Rizwan, the backup keeper, has already filled in and is likely to stay with the squad for the Twenty20 leg of the tour.