Pakistan captain banned 4 games for racist on-field taunt

Sarfraz Ahmed was banned for four games on Sunday for a racist on-field taunt aimed at Andile Phehlukwayo. (AP)
Updated 27 January 2019

Pakistan captain banned 4 games for racist on-field taunt

  • International Cricket Council confirmed the decision on Sunday and said Sarfraz was guilty of a breach of the sport's anti-racism code
  • Pakistan captain made a public apology and also apologized in person to Phehlukwayo

JOHANNESBURG: Pakistan cricket captain Sarfraz Ahmed was banned for four games on Sunday for a racist on-field taunt aimed at South Africa allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo and will miss the rest of the one-day series and the first two Twenty20 games.
The International Cricket Council said Sarfraz was guilty of a breach of the sport's anti-racism code for his comments while Phehlukwayo, who is black, was batting in the second ODI in Durban on Tuesday. The ICC charged Sarfraz with the offense on Saturday and said Safraz accepted the charge.
Sarfraz, the Pakistan wicketkeeper, was heard on a stump microphone saying in the Urdu language: "Hey black man, where is your mother sitting today? What (prayer) have you got her to say for you today?"
Sarfraz claimed his comments were a general expression of frustration that Phehlukwayo had got lucky while batting and survived a couple of near-misses. He made a public apology and also apologized in person to Phehlukwayo.
The ICC still found him guilty.
"The ICC has a zero-tolerance policy towards conduct of this nature," ICC chief executive David Richardson said. Richard said Sarfraz had "promptly admitted the offence, was regretful of his actions and has issued a public apology."
Shoaib Malik captained Pakistan for the fourth one-day international in Johannesburg on Sunday in Sarfraz's place. Shoaib won the toss and opted to bowl first. He declined to comment on Sarfraz's ban.
Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan made his first appearance of the series in place of Sarfraz. Pakistan also brought in left-arm seam bowler Usman Shinwari in its only other change.
South Africa made one change, rotating its spinners by recalling Imran Tahir for Tabraiz Shamsi.
South Africa leads 2-1 in the ODIs and can clinch the series at the Wanderers.


Heat oust Celtics, face Lakers for NBA title

Updated 28 September 2020

Heat oust Celtics, face Lakers for NBA title

  • The Heat are the only NBA franchise with six Finals appearances in the last 15 years
  • Game 1 of the Heat-Lakers best-of-seven series is on Wednesday night

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida: It was exactly one year ago Sunday when Jimmy Butler walked into the Miami Heat practice gym, took a seat on a makeshift stage and said he wanted to be part of the team’s next title run.
He’ll have that chance.
The Heat are going to the NBA Finals — surprising many, perhaps, but not themselves. Bam Adebayo scored a season-high 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Butler scored 22 points and the Heat won the Eastern Conference finals for the sixth time by topping the Boston Celtics 125-113 on Sunday night.
“This group, more than anything, they just love to compete,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said during the trophy celebration.
The Heat won the series 4-2 — and now, they’ll see LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers for the title. Game 1 of that series is Wednesday night.
Tyler Herro scored 19 points, Duncan Robinson and Andre Iguodala each had 15 and Goran Dragic added 13 for the Heat.
Jaylen Brown scored 26 points, Jayson Tatum had 24 and a career-high 11 assists, and Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker each scored 20 points for Boston — which fell in the East finals for the third time in the last four seasons.
Miami was down by six early in the fourth before regaining control. A 6-0 burst — Herro had the last five of those points, needing only 31 seconds to do so — tied it at 96. Boston took the lead twice more, with Adebayo answering both times, first with a dunk, then a go-ahead three-point play with 6:16 left.
He smacked the floor in celebration.
It’s like they knew what was coming. They never trailed again. Herro had a pair of baskets in a 9-0 burst that put the Heat up by 10, Adebayo found Butler for a layup and a 116-102 lead everyone on the Heat bench was on their feet.
The Heat are the only NBA franchise with six Finals appearances in the last 15 years. They’re seeking their fourth title, and this chance didn’t come easily.
The Heat had a 5-for-5 stretch from 3-point range in the first quarter, but otherwise struggled again from beyond the arc in the first half. They were 6 for 14 from deep in the first 24 minutes, Boston was 11 for 23 before the break and the Heat took a 62-60 lead into halftime.
And the margin remained two going into the fourth.
Iguodala’s fourth 3-pointer — in as many attempts — with 4:20 left in the third put the Heat up eight, before Brown had five points in a 10-2 Boston spurt to tie it. Dragic had a go-ahead layup on Miami’s final shot of the quarter and it was 88-86 Heat with 12 minutes remaining.
The Celtics scored 10 of the first 12 points of the fourth, surviving a scare in there as well when Brown took an ugly fall after scoring in transition. Brown thought Butler took him out at the legs, no foul was called and — after the Celtics’ medical staff checked out his left knee — Brown stayed in.

TIP-INS
Celtics: Tatum took 15 shots in the first half, the first time in his 270-game career that he’s done that. He had taken 14 on four other occasions. ... Tatum’s top four assist-total games of his career have come in the bubble.
Heat: The Heat are now guaranteed no less than $4,399,686 for their playoff share, and that number would rise to $5,791,041 if they win the title. ... Udonis Haslem is the only player to be on all six Heat teams that have made the finals.

WALKER VS. HEAT
Walker has been to the playoffs three times, and his team has been eliminated by Miami in all three of those appearances — with three different nicknames. Charlotte was still the Bobcats when the Heat swept them in the 2014 first round, the Heat rallied to beat Charlotte’s then-rebranded Hornets in seven games in the 2016 first round, and now this win over the Celtics.

CROSS-SPORT SUPPORT
The Celtics and Heat were getting some support from afar before Game 6. Celtics coach Brad Stevens was pleased to hear video of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick signing off from his postgame news conference Sunday by saying “good luck to Brad and the Celtics tonight. We’ll be pulling for them.” And at the Miami Marlins’ regular season finale, outfielder Lewis Brinson had a Butler jersey (in the popular Heat ‘Vice’ theme) underneath his game jersey.