Cricket South Africa has launched an investigation after Imran Tahir was allegedly verbally and racially abused by a spectator during Saturday’s fourth one-day international against India in Johannesburg.
Video footage on social media shows Proteas leg-spinner Tahir involved in an angry altercation with spectators in the stands at the Wanderers Stadium during South Africa’s five-wicket win.
CSA announced on Monday that it was looking into the incident, saying Pakistan-born Tahir had been abused by an unknown man and that he had reported the incident to stadium security.
CSA also said Tahir “made no physical contact with the offender or any of the children in the vicinity”.
A statement read: “cricket South Africa has noted and is aware of the circulation of video footage featuring Imran Tahir on social media and Whatsapp groups.
“Imran Tahir was verbally and racially abused by an unknown man during the fourth one-day international against India at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Saturday.
“Tahir reported the incident to the stadium security, and was subsequently accompanied by two security personnel to identify and to have the man ejected from the stadium.
“Tahir made no physical contact with the offender or any of the children in the vicinity. The incident is under investigation with the CSA and stadium security teams.”
The 38-year-old Tahir has played 20 Tests, 84 ODIs and 36 T20Is since making his South Africa debut in 2011.
The tournament is set to take place in August this year in the United States with Houston and Lauderhill (Florida) in the running to host the matches.
The developments were confirmed by an unnamed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official to the Indian Express during the first ICC meeting of the year held in Dubai last weekend.
“It (USA tri-series) is an arrangement for this year, and we will see how things pan out later on,” the official said.
The agreement is said to have been finalised after discussions between PCB chairman Najam Sethi and Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief Dave Cameron in Dubai.
During the meeting between the two board chiefs, the schedule for the postponed West Indies’ T20I tour of Pakistan was also confirmed. The Caribbean side is now set to visit Pakistan at the end of the March for the three T20s.
All three matches will be held at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore on March 29 and 31, and April 1.
Meanwhile this will be the first time that Pakistan’s national team will play in the United States. West Indies have already played two T20Is against India at Lauderhill last year while some matches of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) have also been hosted there.
If Houston is selected as a venue, it will be the first international match to be held there.
With a 3-1 lead, India will be looking to seal their maiden one-day series triumph on South African soil while the hosts will know that nothing less than a victory will do for them.
Here, we look at the key battles which could decide the fate of the clash.
AB de Villiers V India’s wrist-spinners
The South Africans have dearly missed AB de Villiers’s mastery against the spinners in the first-half of the series as India established their dominance. There are not many more destructive batsmen in the world against the spinning ball than the 33-year-old and if he gets stuck in on Tuesday, the spin-twins could be in for another testing evening.
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal meanwhile will be hoping that their display at the Wanderers was just an off-day and that they can re-establish their superiority on the South Africans. For that, they will need to subdue De Villiers first.
ROHIT SHARMA V KAGISO RABADA
Rohit Sharma has had a tour to forget so far having failed to register a single fifty in eight innings now. It has simply not worked for the Mumbai-based man, be it in the Test series or now the ODIs.
Six out of his eight dismissals have come against South Africa’s young pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada. He has a combined total of only 40 runs in the four games so far and will have to clear the Rabada hurdle at the start if he is to get a big one on Tuesday.
HASHIM AMLA V INDIA’S PACERS
Hashim Amla has not been uprooting any trees in the series either with 33 being his highest score. He has been dismissed twice by Jasprit Bumrah and once by Bhuvneshwar Kumar as he has found it difficult to get past the new-ball stage.
India’s new-ball pairing has been successful in subduing the Proteas veteran so far but you wouldn’t put it past Amla to turn the scales on Tuesday.