PCB expresses disappointment at ICC’s decision on Sarfraz

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday expressed its disappointment at the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision on suspending skipper Sarfraz Ahmed for four matches.

Earlier, today the cricket's governing body in a statement said Sarfraz has been suspended for four matches after accepting that he was in breach of the ICC’s anti-racism code for his remarks against South Africa's Andile Phehlukwayo.

During the second ODI in Durban, the Pakistani skipper aimed a comment at Phehlukwayo which was deemed as racist and resulted in him being charged with an offence under the ICC's anti-racism code.

The PCB in its statement said, “The PCB notes the ICC decision on Sarfraz Ahmed with its utmost disappointment. PCB had anticipated that the matter had been resolved amicably between the two players and the two Boards following Sarfraz Ahmed’s public apologies which were accepted by the player, the Board and South Africa cricket team.”

“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 behaviour, the statement further said.

Moreover, the board said that in consultation with Sarfraz it has been decided that he will return to Pakistan immediately. “Shoaib Malik will captain the team for the remaining ODIs and T20 internationals of the series, while Mohammad Rizwan has been included in the T20I side.”

The ICC'anti-racism code reads: “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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