ICR, Jan 27, 2019

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday handed a four-match suspension to Pakistan cricket team captain Sarfaraz Ahmed for breaching Anti-Racism Code.

Sarfaraz’s remarks came last week during a One-Day International (ODI) against South Africa when South African batsman Andile Phehlukwayo who, along with Hendrick van der Dussen, had guided Proteas to a series-leveling win against the green shirts in the second ODI on Jan 22.

The council also decreed that he would also have to undergo an education program to understand the issue.

The backlash of skipper’s remarks forced him to apologize to the South African team and Phehlukwayo who had also accepted his apology. However, the ICC moved against Sarfaraz under its Anti-Racism Code.

Following the ICC action, Shoaib Malik will be leading the team against Proteas in the fourth of five One-Day Internationals in South Africa today.

Now, Sarfaraz will not b able to play the rest of the ODI series against Proteas, as well as the first two Twenty20 internationals against South Africa.

ICC release says As per Article 7.3 of the Anti-Racism Code, Ahmed will have to undergo an education programme to promote the understanding and awareness of issues directly relevant to the offense that he has committed. It would "work with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to determine when and how this should take place.

Pakistan Cricket Board said it was disappointing. "The PCB notes the ICC decision on Sarfaraz Ahmed with its utmost disappointment. PCB had anticipated that the matter had been resolved amicably between the two players and the two Boards following Sarfaraz Ahmed’s public apologies which were accepted by the player, the Board and South Africa cricket team," said the statement by the board.

"The PCB will be pursuing this matter at the ICC forums with the objective to bring reforms to the Code, promoting amicable resolutions to issues as opposed to penalties. Having said that, the PCB reiterates its zero-tolerance approach towards racist comments and behavior.