Afridi could be in hot water with ICC
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter

Player:R Benaud, Inzamam-ul-Haq, GC Smith, HH Gibbs, Shahid Afridi

DateLine: 7th February 2007


The International Cricket Council (ICC) was expected to issue a statement concerning possible action against Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi, Cricket South Africa (CSA) media manager Gordon Templeton said on Tuesday.


Afridi is alleged to have swung his bat at a spectator as he was making his way up the stairs to the dressing-room after he had been dismissed for 17 in Pakistan's one-day International against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday. His action was apparently in response to something shouted by the spectator.


CSA general manager of cricket affairs Brian Basson said the chief executive of the ICC had five days in which to call for footage of the incident, after which he could decide on action to taken.


'The match referee can't lay a complaint against Afridi because he would be the person in charge of any disciplinary hearing under the ICC code of conduct,” said Basson.


In January South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs was banned for two Test matches after being found guilty of a breach of the ICC Code of conduct, after he made abusive and obscene remarks about Pakistan supporters who had been heckling the South Africa fielders during the first Test match, also played at Centurion.


Gibbs appealed, but the appeal was upheld by ICC appeals commissioner Richie Benaud of Australia, who changed the ban to one Test and two limited-overs matches.


At the time, South Africa cricket captain Graeme Smith called for consistency from the ICC.


“We just want to see consistency around the world,” he said. “There were things that happened to us in Australia that still haven't been dealt with.” He reiterated his plea for consistency on Tuesday.


“I didn't see the incident, so I can't really comment,” he said. “But if a complaint has been laid, then we just want consistency in the ICC's approach.”


Pakistan captain Inzamam ul-Haq declined to comment on the Afridi incident.


On Monday, CSA chief executive, Gerald Majola, praised the spectators at the two matches on Friday and Sunday, saying they had been very well behaved.


“Before the matches, we announced the introduction of zero tolerance measures against unruly crowd behaviour so that the majority could enjoy themselves, “said Majola. “The public responded by providing full houses at both matches, and lustily cheering the Proteas to emphatic victories. There was huge excitement, with minimal unruly behaviour and CSA thanks and congratulates the public for this. Stadia staff also deserves a pat on the back for quickly and firmly dealing with the few incidents of bad behaviour. However, our zero tolerance measures will be in place for the remaining ODIs in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Extra security staff will be on duty at all the venues, and they have been instructed to evict any spectator causing a disturbance or disrupting the match. We also have the options of criminally charging unruly spectators and imposing life-bans from stadia.”


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