Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday expressed disappointment over the decision of International Cricket Council (ICC) to suspend skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed for four matches. Sarfaraz had made racial remarks against South African pacer Andile Phehlukwayo during the second ODI against South Africa in Durban on Tuesday following which the ICC had charged the batsman for breaching their anti-racism code.

The wicket-keeper batsman was picked up by the stump mic saying, “Hey black [man], where is your mother sitting? What prayer did you get her to say for you today?” (Abay kaalay, teri ammi aaj kahan baitheen hain? Kya parhwa ke aya hai aaj tu?). As the issue raked up, the wicket-keeper batsman apologised personally to Phehlukwayo and had also issued a public apology.

In a statement, PCB said that since Sarfaraz’s apology was accepted by the South African pacer, they assumed that the matter is resolved amicably between the two parties. They further stated that the board would pursue the matter at the ICC forums to bring reforms to the code.

“The PCB notes the ICC decision on Sarfraz Ahmed with its utmost disappointment. PCB had anticipated that the matter had been resolved amicably between the two players and the two Boards following Sarfraz Ahmed’s public apologies which were accepted by the player, the Board and South Africa cricket team,” the statement read.

“The PCB will be pursuing this matter at the ICC forums with the objective to bring reforms to the Code, promoting amicable resolutions to issues as opposed to penalties. Having said that, the PCB reiterates its zero-tolerance approach towards racist comments and behaviour,” the statement further said.

As a result of the suspension, the right-hand batsman will miss the remaining two matches of the ongoing five-match ODI series against South Africa as well as the first two matches of the T20I series to follow. In his absence, Pakistan have named Shoaib Malik as their stand-in skipper.

(With ANI Inputs)