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Thursday Jan 24 2019
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Sarfraz could be suspended for 3 to 5 matches, Malik to step in as captain

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed could be suspended for three to five ODIs with Shoaib Malik expected to step in. Photo: File

KARACHI: Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed could face suspension for three to five games in light of his recent remarks taunting South Africa's Andile Phehlukwayo during the second one-day international in Durban.

During the 37th over of South Africa's chase in the second ODI on Tuesday, Sarfraz was caught on the stump mics saying in Urdu: "Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?” which translated to, "Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?"

If Sarfraz is suspended, veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik is expected to the lead the team in the remainder of the series. 

If any action is taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC), it will be under the ICC code of conduct for player behaviour or the ICC's anti-racism code.

Article 2.13 of its 'Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel' — published and effective as of September 30, 2018 — covers obscene, insulting or offensive language and that "such conduct is prohibited under the ICC’s Anti-Racism Code and must be dealt with according to the procedures set out therein".

The ICC's ‘Anti-Racism Code for Participants' describes the offence as "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".

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If determined to be an offence, "an appropriate sanction" can be imposed on the Pakistan captain and the punishment may vary as per the number of past instances of committing the offence.

However, there is a "mandatory requirement to undergo a programme of education/counselling designed to promote the understanding and awareness of issues directly relevant to the offence that the Participant has been determined to have committed".

A day earlier, Sarfraz in a series of tweets extended an apology for his uncalled remarks.

The skipper said: "I wish to extend my sincere apologies to any person who may have taken offence from my expression of frustration which was unfortunately caught by the stump mic during yesterday's game against SA."

The Pakistan captain said that his words were not directed towards anyone in particular.

"I did not even mean for my words to be heard, understood or communicated to the opposing team or the cricket fans. I have in the past and will continue in future to appreciate the camaraderie of my fellow cricketers from across the globe and will always respect and honour them on and off the field," he stated.

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