PCB to write to ICC over `inconsistent` penalties
Karachi: Disappointed that South Africa`s Faf du Plessis was let off with a fine for ball tampering, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will write to the ICC to review match referee`s decision and impose harsher punishment for his "grave" violation of rules.
Du Plessis was caught tampering with the ball on the third day of the second Test in Dubai. But he escaped with only a fine of 50 percent of his match fee after he pleaded guilty to the charges, by Australian match referee David Boon.
A senior official of the board revealed that a letter will be dispatched to the International Cricket Council on Monday asking for a review of the match referee`s decision.
"There appears to be no uniform system for imposing penalties by ICC referees. We feel du Plessis has committed a grave violation of the laws and should have got harsher punishment," an official said on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, Pakistan cricket fraternity expressed their unhappiness over the episode and accused the ICC of unfair treatment.
The chairman of the PCB interim management committee Najam Sethi tweeted about his disappointment and confirmed the board would take up the issue with the ICC.
"We want to know why this anomaly in imposition of penalties, why are they different set of rules for Plessis and Shahid Afridi?," Sethi asked.
Afridi was banned for two T20 internationals in Australia in 2010 after being caught tampering with the ball in an ODI match.
Afridi, too, expressed sadness over discrimination by the international body.
"I don`t know how to say this but there appears to be a clear discrimination when it comes to imposing penalties for rule violations for us and others," Afridi told reporters.
The PCB appears to have the full backing of the cricket community to take up the issue with the ICC as all leading newspapers carried the story on their front pages today while former players have also called for the board to not let the matter go and seek greater punishment for the South African batsman.
Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar told a news channel that the match referee and ICC perhaps thought Pakistani or Asian players were easy targets but when it came to players from other countries the treatment was different.
Akhtar, who himself has been banned for ball tampering, said it was time the PCB showed some guts and pushed the matter with support of other Boards.
"This incident shows a clear bias in implementation of laws and the way the referee should look at different offences. Du Plessis was caught on camera ball tampering," Akhtar said.
Pakistan`s former captains Rashid Latif, Aamir Sohail and Saeed Anwar also called for the ICC to impose a ban of some matches on du Plessis to highlight consistency in implementation of penalties for the offence.
"Du Plessis must be banned for a number of matches. To say his actions were not deliberate is a joke. Why does one need to have zippers on a side pocket?," Latif asked.
Interestingly, this issue comes up at a time when the PCB and South African boards are in discussion to have a short one-day series in South Africa soon after Pakistan ends its home series against the Proteas in the UAE next month.
The talks are on after Indian board reduced its tour to South Africa this winter.
Pakistan`s former coach and chief selector Mohsin Khan sought support of other Asian countries on the entire issue.
"Pakistan needs to be supported by our neighbouring countries on this at the ICC level match referees can`t be allowed to decide penalties on their own whims and fancies," he said.