Pakistani captain Sarfaraz Ahmed got a four-match suspension by ICC for his racist rants in a 2nd ODI match against South Africa last week. His racist taunts were directed at Andile Phehlukwayo.
Ahmed was suspended for breaching the Anti-Racism code for participants. Although Ahmed apologised to Phehlukwayo on Twitter and then in-person.
Pakistan Cricket Board Ehsan Mani was upset with the ban and has put ICC on blast and said that ban was an ‘Utter Nonsense’. According to Mani, even though Ahmed apologised, the ICC put a four-match ban because they “could not get the two players involved in a room together”.
“We made an apology at all levels and it had been accepted by everyone. We have a good relationship with CSA (Cricket South Africa). For the ICC to jump in because Phehlukwayo was upset and didn’t want a reconciliation process, [and to feel they] have to charge Sarfaraz, that’s where I think a bit of nonsense comes into this. What else can you achieve by sitting them in a room? They’re not school children,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Mani, as saying.
“This is my issue that they sat on it. Our statements and apologies were public. This is not something you brush under the table, it has to be dealt with openly and transparently. We did all of that. But because ICC couldn’t get the two players in a room together, they said let’s charge him. And that to my mind is utter nonsense,” he added.
However, Mani admitted that racist rant by Ahmed was extremely distasteful in nature and should have never been used.
“Unfortunately, somewhere the message to the players has gotten missed, or it hasn’t sunk in, or too much time went by without further refreshing. It is a distasteful comment to make at any level. The sensitivity in South Africa is understandably very high and it was disappointing the captain made that comment – any player but the leader of the team more so,” Mani said.
“Obviously Sarfaraz will be spoken to. The whole team will be told that you have to be very careful. It is also a bit of a cultural issue – the word that he used, in Pakistan, it would be ignored. That doesn’t mean the culture is right but the tone wasn’t in any way vicious or vindictive,” he added.