Sarfaraz gets 4-month suspension for hurling racial remarks at South African pacer Andile Phehlukwayo

Dubai: Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has been suspended for four matches for breaching the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Anti-Racism Code.

Sarfaraz had made racial remarks against South African pacer Andile Phehlukwayo during the second ODI against South Africa in Durban on Tuesday.

The wicket-keeper batsman was picked up by the stump mic saying, “Hey black [man], where is your mother sitting? What prayer did you get her to say for you today?” (Abay kaalay, teri ammi aaj kahan baitheen hain? Kya parhwa ke aya hai aaj tu?).

As a result of the suspension, the right-hand batsman will miss the remaining two matches of the ongoing five-match ODI series against South Africa as well as the first two matches of the T20I series to follow. In his absence, Pakistan have named Shoaib Malik as their stand-in skipper.

Following the incident, the ICC charged Sarfaraz 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.”

Reflecting on the decision, ICC chief executive David Richardson said: “The ICC has a zero-tolerance policy towards the conduct of this nature. Sarfaraz 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.”

As per Article 7.3 of the Anti-Racism Code, Sarfaraz 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 Pakistan Cricket Board to determine when and how this should take place.