Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has been suspended for four matches after he breached the anti-racism code when he was heard racially abusing South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo in the 2nd ODI.
Sarfraz was left out from the playing XI in the 4th ODI against South Africa and it is veteran Shoaib Malik who will lead the Green Gang in Johannesburg.
Under-fire Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed apologises for passing racial remarks on Andile Phehlukwayo
“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,” wrote the ICC in a media release.
Sarfraz will miss the remaining two matches in the ongoing ODI series against South Africa, followed by two T20I matches.
“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,” said ICC Chief Executive David Richardson.
According to the ICC, as per Article 7.3 of the Anti-racism code, Sarfraz will have to undergo an education programme to promote the understanding of awareness of the issue to the offence that he committed. The ICC will work with the PCB to determine when and how this would take place.
The batsman-wicketkeeper was caught on the stump microphone making an alleged racist remark towards Phehlukwayo in the 37th over of South Africa's run chase on Tuesday. The hosts eventually won the match by five wickets.
The Pakistan Cricket Board had also expressed regret over the alleged racist remarks made by the skipper.
"The PCB expresses regret over the remark made by their captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and picked up by the stump mic during the second ODI against South Africa in Durban," PCB said in a statement.
"The PCB neither endorses nor supports any comments that have the potential to cause offence, and firmly reiterates their zero-tolerance approach towards racist comments made; in whatever context."
Sarfraz had stated that he had spoken to Phehlukwayo and apologised to the cricketer for the racist remarks.
"This morning I apologised to Andile Phehlukwayo and he was gracious enough to accept my apology and I hope the people of South Africa also accept my apology," Sarfaraz wrote on his twitter page.
Sarfaraz had earlier issued a long apology on Wednesday, insisting that his comments were not directed at anyone in particular. But on Thursday he met Phehlukwayo.
Sarfraz was heard saying,"Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj (Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What have you got her to say for you today)?."
For the 4th ODI, Pakistan won the toss and opted to bowl.
South Africa Playing XI: Quinton de Kock(w), Hashim Amla, Reeza Hendricks, Faf du Plessis(c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Beuran Hendricks