Shoaib Akhtar says that the return of Sarfraz Ahmed as captain is important
PCB had said that the ban is a bit too harsh on the skipper.
Updated - Feb 2, 2019 5:43 pm
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has been banned for four matches after making a shocking racist remark to South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo in the on-going series against the Proteas. The International Cricket Council (ICC) said Sarfraz breached its anti-racism code in and would be punished for the same. After the incident was reported, the skipper apologised and claimed his words were “not directed towards anyone in particular”.
Although the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) accepted that it doesn’t endorse racist comments from anyone towards any nationality, it also defended Sarfraz saying that a four-match ban was too harsh on the 31-year-old since he rendered an apology for his mistake. Sarfraz’s suspension started with the fourth ODI in Johannesburg, and all-rounder Shoaib Malik had stepped in as captain for the rest of the tour.
Much like PCB, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has also said that a four-match ban is a bit too harsh on ICC’s part and that he would like to see the Champions Trophy winning captain back at the helm of the team.
“I said what I saw [Durban incident], and I have nothing to do with his [Sarfraz] opinion over it, but the return of Sarfraz as captain is important,” said Akhtar, while talking to the local media. These comments from the Rawalpindi Express have come after he initially demanded a public apology from Ahmed for his behaviour, which the current captain mistook as a personal attack.
Akhtar’s initial take on the controversy
“The incident is completely unacceptable for a Pakistani. I think he did this in the heat of the moment and he should publicly apologize,” the former pacer had said in his video tweet. Akhtar had also said that the problem with Ahmed is that he doesn’t know what to speak and when.
The wicketkeeper-batsman was charged under a part of the section of the code relating to “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… on the basis of their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin”.