28 Jan 2019

Pakistan captain banned for racial comment

6:15 am on 28 January 2019

Pakistan cricket captain Sarfraz Ahmed has been banned for four matches after admitting making a racist remark to South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo.

The International Cricket Council said Sarfraz breached its anti-racism code in the second one-day international in Durban.

Sarfraz Ahmed

Sarfraz Ahmed Photo: Photosport

Sarfraz later apologised and claimed his words were "not directed towards anyone in particular".

The wicketkeeper missed today's fourth international and will miss one more and two Twenty20 matches, all against South Africa.

"Sarfraz 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," said the International Cricket Council's (ICC) chief executive David Richardson.

The world governing body opened an investigation after Sarfraz was caught on a stump microphone using the Urdu word "kaale", meaning "black".

Sarfraz will also have to go on an ICC education programme.

He was charged under a part of the section of the code relating to "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... on the basis of their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin".

In response, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement that it had "a zero-tolerance approach to racist comments and behaviour", but expressed its "utmost disappointment" with the decision to ban Sarfraz.

Today Pakistan beat South Africa by 8 wickets in the fourth one-dayer at Wanderers Stadium to level the series at 2-all.