Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has been banned for four matches by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his controversial remark aimed at Andile Phehlukwayo during his team’s second ODI against South Africa in Durban on Tuesday.
Ahmed will miss the remaining two matches of the ongoing ODI series as well as the first two matches of the T20I series to follow for breaching the ICC’s Anti-Racism Code.
According to ICC, Ahmed is 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.”
The Pakistan skipper was heard telling Phehlukwayo in Urdu, “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”
As per Article 7.3 of the Anti-Racism Code, Ahmed 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 to determine when and how this should take place.
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, the ICC General Counsel, Iain Higgins, then determined that the player had a case to answer under the Code, and the player was issued a notice on Saturday.
South African captain Faf du Plessis said on Thursday that his team has forgiven Ahmed after the latter apologised for the comment.