Latif cleared of charges

Pakistan's wicket-keeper Rashid Latif gives the thumbs up to the cameras after an ICC hearing where he was cleared of a racial abuse charge. The complaint came from the Australian team in Johannesburg.-— Pic. AFP

The boot seemed to be on the other foot. First Aussie Darren Lehmann got into big trouble for his words on a man's colour and now Pakistan experienced wicket-keeper batman Rashid Latif has been reported to the ICC for a racial slur on his Aussie counterpart Adam Gilchrist.

The incident took place during Pakistan's innings during the World Cup duel at the Wanderers. According to the Gilchrist, Latif turned around at him and passed an obscene remark. The matter was reported by Gilchrist to the team-management which in turn took up the issue with match referee Clive Lloyd, who subsequently cleared Latif.

In the game of frayed tempers, Pakistani captain Waqar Younis was ordered out of the attack for sending down two deadly beamers at Aussie hero of the match, Andrew Symonds, in the 49th over of the innings. The Pakistani captain was banished from the attack, and the last two deliveries of the over had to be bowled by leg-spinner Shahid Afridi.

Later, Waqar apologised at the media conference. "The first one slipped from my hand and he (Shepherd) warned me and then it happened again and that is why I couldn't bowl my last few balls. I did apologise to Simmo (Symonds) and you should ask him."

On his part Symonds revealed, "It was just the moment. I had a lot of adrenaline flowing. I was looking to find the boundary but he said sorry after the game and that is fine by me. I have no hard feelings towards him.'' All seems to be calm after the fiery face-off.