ICC hands Sarfraz Ahmed four-match suspension

Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, will miss two ODIs and two T20Is against South Africa for violating the anti-racism code of the International Cricket Council.

Sarfraz Ahmed (in picture) will not participate in the rest of the ongoing ODI series. He will also miss the first two T20Is next month. Photo: AP

Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, has been suspended for four matches by the International Cricket Council as he was deemed guilty of violating its anti-racism code.

The incident, for which the punishment was given, took place in the second One-Day International (ODI) between South Africa and Pakistan in Durban. Sarfraz was deemed racist in his comments to fast bowler Andile Phehlukwayo during the contest, which South Africa had won by five wickets.

Match referee Ranjan Madugalle had initially reported the offence. In a communique, the ICC announced, "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 with a charge notice on 26 January."

Educational programme

Sarfraz will also have to undergo an educational programme, according to the ICC, "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."

Sarfraz has apologised for his comments, publicly and to Phehlukwayo personally as well.

David Richardson, the ICC chief executive, said, "The ICC has a zero-tolerance policy towards 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."

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