South Africa accept Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed's apology for controversial remarks

Waseem Ahmed 25/01/2019
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The Proteas have chosen to move on.

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis has stated that his team has chosen to forgive Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed for his crude comments directed towards Andile Phehlukwayo in the second ODI.

The Pakistan skipper’s controversial remarks with racial overtones were picked up by the stump mics towards the end of the play in the second ODI and he subsequently took to Twitter to issue a general apology.

“We forgive him because he said sorry,” du Plessis was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

“He has apologised and taken responsibility for it. It is out of our hands and ICC will have to deal with it now.

“When you come to South Africa, you have to be very careful when you make racial comments. I am sure he didn’t mean it like that but he has taken responsibility and we will have to see what the outcome of that is going to be.”

Sarfraz had issued a general apology on Twitter.

Sarfraz had issued a general apology on Twitter.

Sarfraz could still face some action from the ICC with match referee Ranjan Madugalle submitting his report on the matter. What punishment, if any, is handed out to the Pakistan skipper remains to be seen.

“We’re not taking it lightly, but that fact that there was an immediate apology shows there is regret. We can forgive but that doesn’t mean we brush it under the table,” du Plessis continued.

The Proteas stalwart took a lighthearted dig at the Aussies too, saying, “We’re a very gracious team. We forgive easily. Maybe not so much when it’s Australia.”

The two teams are currently locked at 1-1 in the five-match series and will meet in the third ODI on Friday at the Centurion.

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Sensational Kemar Roach rips through England to put Windies on top in first Test

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Kemar Roach's five-wicket burst put England on the mat.

18 wickets fell in a remarkable day of Test cricket at Bridgetown as West Indies seized the initiative in the first Test against England.

A sensational spell of bowling from Windies pacer Kemar Roach saw England bundled out for just 77 runs in their first innings which is the lowest Test total ever recorded at Bridgetown.

The tourists had started the second day well and picked up the final two Windies wickets early as the hosts were bowled out for 289 runs in their first innings.

What transpired next was a script no one saw coming with England collapsing like a house of cards against the pace and bounce of Roach.

West Indies skipper Jason Holder gave the hosts the first breakthrough by removing opener Keaton Jennings as England went into lunch on day two at 30-1.

The post-lunch session was all about an outstanding spell of 27 deliveries from Roach in which the Windies pacer picked up five England wickets.

It was a procession for the West Indies in the end

It was a procession for the West Indies in the end

Roach got both Rory Burns and Jonny Bairstow to chop on to their stumps while Holder pinned England skipper Joe Root on the pads at the other end. Roach then removed Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali off consecutive deliveries as the visitors were reduced to 48-6.

Roach had his five-wicket haul soon after with Jos Buttler perishing to a shorter delivery before Alzarri Joseph and Shannon Gabriel cleaned up the England tail.

Armed with a first innings lead of 212 runs, the hosts chose not to enforce the follow-on. There would be more twists and turns in the remainder of the day with a three-wicket burst from Moeen Ali seeing the hosts slump to 61-5 in their second innings.

Windies ultimately ended the day at 127-6 with their overall lead now standing at 339 runs.

BRIEF SCORES

West Indies: 289 and 127-6

Moeen Ali: 3/41 (12 overs)

England: 77 all out (first innings)

Kemar Roach: 5/17 (11 overs)

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Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul get relief as BCCI lifts interim suspensions

Sudhir Gupta 24/01/2019
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Relief for India all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

The interim suspensions on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were lifted with immediate effect on Thursday as the two India players were given some respite in the ongoing inquiry against them by the BCCI.

The duo had been suspended for their controversial comments on a television show and had been sent back home from India’s tour of Australia subsequently. An inquiry had been opened against the players by the BCCI and Committee of Administrators (CoA) but the matter had been referred to the Supreme Court eventually in the absence on an Ombudsman.

India’s top court had initially deferred the hearing of the several cases related to the BCCI until a new Amicus Curiae had been appointed. On the advice of newly appointed Amicus Curiae PS Narasimha, the CoA on Thursday lifted the bans on the duo with immediate effect pending the appointment of an Ombudsman by the BCCI.

The BCCI’s Ombudsman post has been lying vacant for some time now and a final verdict on the inquiry against the two players will only be reached once one has been appointed to the role.

“Since the adjudication of all allegations of misconduct against any cricketer registered with, inter alia, the BCCI is required to be undertaken by the BCCI Ombudsman, whose appointment is pending directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the CoA is the of the view that the interim suspension orders dated 11.01.2019 should be presently lifted with immediate effect,” a BCCI statement read.

The duo will now be available for selections to the India squad once again until a final verdict has been reached in their case.

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