ICC has suspended Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed for making racist comments at South African cricketer Andile Phehlukwayo. Sarfraz had admitted to making such comments and had also apologised immediately.
While conveying this decision, ICC CEO David Richardson said that ICC has a zero-tolerance policy towards conduct of this nature.
He noted that 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.
Sarfraz wasn’t part of Pakistan’s team for the fourth ODI and in his absence Shoiab Malik led the team. The Pakistan wicket-keeper will now have to sit out of the fifth ODI as well and won’t be able to play in the first two T20Is.
According to ICC, the Pakistan skipper will also attend an education programme to promote the understanding and awareness of issues directly relevant to the offence that he has committed.
Shoaib Malik explained that when they got to the ground, that’s when he came to know he is captaining the side.
He noted that it’s a great honour to represent your country as a captain or a player, and whenever the opportunity comes to you should give your best shot. And that’s what he did.
The Pakistan Cricket Board is unhappy with ICC’s decision. PCB released a statement which says that the PCB notes the ICC decision on Sarfaraz Ahmed with its utmost disappointment.
The statement explains that 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.