On-field ‘racist’ taunt could land Sarfraz Ahmed in trouble

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DURBAN: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed could be in trouble after a seemingly racist comment he made to South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo was caught on the broadcast stump mics and discussed by the commentators.

During the 37th over of South Africa’s chase in the second ODI in Durban, Sarfraz was caught on the stump mics taunting the batsman, in Urdu: “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?”.

Literal translation: “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”

On commentary, Mike Haysman asked Ramiz Raja, “What’s he saying there Ramiz?”

“Difficult really to translate that,” Ramiz replied. “It’s a big long sentence.” 

A video of the incident started making rounds on social media, causing an uproar among the fans as they slammed the skipper for his inappropriate words.

If any action is taken by the ICC, it will be up to the match officials to decide whether they view Sarfraz’s comments 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”.

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”.

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