Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has been suspended for four matches for breaching International Cricket Council's (ICC) Anti-Racism Code for Participants during his side's five-wicket defeat at the hands of South Africa in the second ODI of the five-match series in Durban on Tuesday.
The incident took place during the 37th over of South Africa's chase of 203 runs when Phehlukwayo was batting at 50 and got an inside edge of the bat off Shaheen Afridi's delivery to deep fine leg for a single.
As the South African batsman ran towards the non-striker's end, Sarfraz was caught by stump microphone saying in Urdu, "Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?".(Hey black guy, where is your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?)
Though Sarfraz had earlier denied that his comments were directed towards Phehlukwayo or anyone else, the ICC now confirmed that the Pakistan skipper has accepted that he had breached the ICC`s anti-racism code for participants.
The 31-year-old has been charged with an offence under the Code, namely; “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.”
As a result, he will now miss the remaining two matches of the ongoing ODI series as well as the first two matches of the T20I series to follow against South Africa.
As per Article 7.3 of the Anti-Racism Code, Sarfaraz will also have to undergo an education programme to promote the understanding and awareness of issues directly relevant to the offence that he has committed. The ICC will work with the PCB to determine when and how this should take place.
The incident was initially reported by Ranjan Madugalle of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees after he conducted initial investigations and spoke to both players after the match.
Following a further investigation, the ICC General Counsel, Iain Higgins, then determined that the player had a case to answer under the Code, and the player was issued with a charge notice on January 26.