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.


Spurs sack Pochettino amid results slump

Updated 20 November 2019

Spurs sack Pochettino amid results slump

  • Tottenham statement: The club can today announce that Mauricio Pochettino and his coaching staff Jesus Perez, Miguel D’Agostino and Antoni Jimenez have been relieved of their duties
  • Tottenham sit 14th in England’s top flight after picking up just three wins from their opening 12 games, and were eliminated from the League Cup in September by fourth-tier Colchester United

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur sacked manager Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday following a miserable start to the campaign that has seen last season’s Champions League finalists slide down the Premier League table.
Tottenham sit 14th in England’s top flight after picking up just three wins from their opening 12 games, and were eliminated from the League Cup in September by fourth-tier Colchester United.
“The club can today announce that Mauricio Pochettino and his coaching staff Jesus Perez, Miguel D’Agostino and Antoni Jimenez have been relieved of their duties,” Tottenham said in a statement.
Pochettino, 47, joined Spurs from Southampton in 2014 and transformed the club’s fortunes despite failing to win a trophy in his five-and-a-half years in charge.
His side have become Champions League regulars over the past four seasons, culminating in a dramatic run to the club’s first ever European Cup final in June, which they lost 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.
However, domestically results have been on the decline since February.
Only the faltering form of Arsenal and Manchester United allowed Spurs to cling onto a top-four finish last season as they won just three of their final 12 league games.
That form has continued at the start of this season with Pochettino leaving the club already 11 points outside the Premier League top four and 20 behind leaders Liverpool.
“We were extremely reluctant to make this change and it is not a decision the board has taken lightly, nor in haste,” said Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
“Regrettably domestic results at the end of last season and beginning of this season have been extremely disappointing.
“It falls to the board to make the difficult decisions — this one made more so given the many memorable moments we have had with Mauricio and his coaching staff — but we do so in the club’s best interests.”
The job done by Pochettino was all the more remarkable given the tight budget he was afforded by Levy for transfers and wages in comparison to Tottenham’s Premier League rivals, as the club built a new stadium at a cost of over £1 billion.
Spurs were forced to play at temporary home Wembley for the entirety of the 2017/18 campaign and most of last season before moving into their new 62,000 capacity ground in April.
After 18 months without signing a single player, Levy finally loosened the purse strings to buy Tanguy Ndombele for a club record £63 million ($79 million) in July and added Giovani lo Celso on loan and Ryan Sessegnon in the summer transfer window.
However, injuries have prevented that trio making an instant impact, while Pochettino bemoaned the disruptive effect of Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen all entering the final year of their contracts.
“Mauricio and his coaching staff will always be part of our history,” added Levy.
“I have the utmost admiration for the manner in which he dealt with the difficult times away from a home ground whilst we built the new stadium and for the warmth and positivity he brought to us. I should like to thank him and his coaching staff for all they have contributed. They will always be welcome here.
“We have a talented squad. We need to re-energise and look to deliver a positive season for our supporters.”