PCB chief believes bureaucracy prevailed over common sense
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani voiced his disappointment with the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to suspend Sarfraz Ahmed for his racial banter towards South African all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo despite apologising to him.
“An apology had been tendered and accepted and the only question was whether Sarfaraz deserved any punishment,” Mani told ESPNcricinfo. “I had already said we should pull Sarfaraz out for 2-3 games. I felt very strongly that this has to be a strong message for everyone.”
Mani went on to say that sport’s governing body granted a reconciliation process under the anti-racism code to the South African as a way to resolve the matter but he refused the offer and wanted to move on.
“We had cleared the air,” Mani said. “So common sense should have meant that was the end of the matter. We made an apology at all levels and it had been accepted by everyone. We have a good relationship with Cricket South Africa. For the ICC to jump in because Phehlukwayo was upset and didn’t want a reconciliation process, (and to feel they) have to charge Sarfaraz, that’s where I think a bit of nonsense comes into this. What else can you achieve by sitting them in a room? They’re not school children.”
The PCB chief added, “This is my issue that they sat on it. “Our statements and apologies were public. This is not something you brush under the table, it has to be dealt with openly and transparently. We did all of that. But because ICC couldn’t get the two players in a room together, they said let’s charge him. And that to my mind is utter nonsense.”
The PCB chief went on to that they will push on the matter because somewhere “common sense was overruled by bureaucratic process”.
Mani said that the he was planning to speak to Sarfaraz regarding the incident as well, adding: “Obviously Sarfaraz will be spoken to. The whole team will be told that you have to be very careful. It is also a bit of a cultural issue — the word that he used, in Pakistan it would be ignored. That doesn’t mean the culture is right but the tone wasn’t in any way vicious or vindictive.”
ICC handed a four-match suspension to the Pakistan captain for his behaviour in the second ODI at Durban. Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik led the side to victory at Johannesburg.