What’s the story?
South African spinner Imran Tahir has been reprimanded by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his celebration after dismissing Asela Gunaratne wicket in the second Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka.
Also Read: Sloppy South African fielding hands Sri Lanka series win
After the third T20I, ICC issued a statement stating that the South African spinner was reprimanded for breaching Section G1 of the ICC Clothing and Equipment Rules and Regulations.
ICC’s statement read, “Imran Tahir has been reprimanded for displaying a personal message without seeking prior approval from his home as well as the ICC during the second Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka in Johannesburg.”
In case you didn’t know...
After thrashing Sri Lanka in the first ODI by 19 runs, South Africa lost the second T20I by three wickets as skipper Angelo Mathews took his team home in spite of batting with an injury.
Tahir trapped Gunaratne plumb in front for 3 and celebrated by revealing a t-shirt under his playing kit that had the image of late Pakistani pop icon and religious preacher, Junaid Jamshed.
Junaid Jamshed was one of the victims of a Pakistan International Airlines plane crash in December and was also a popular figure among Pakistani cricketers.
The heart of the matter
According to the ICC, Tahir breached section G1 of ICC Clothing and Equipment Rules and Regulations. The rule states that "Players and team officials shall not be permitted to wear, display or otherwise convey messages through arm bands or other items affixed to clothing or equipment ("Personal Messages") unless approved in advance by both the player or team official's Board and the ICC Cricket Operations Department. Approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes."
The Pakistani-born legspinner admitted his mistake and accepted the sanction by the ICC. Hence, there was no need for a formal hearing between him and the ICC representatives. After losing the T20I series 1-2, South Africa take on Sri Lanka in a five-match ODI series that begins on Saturday.
Also Read: South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2017: 3rd T20I, 5 best moments from the clash at Cape Town
There is nothing wrong in paying tribute to a person that the player reveres after taking a wicket or scoring a century or winning the match. But, Imran Tahir was rightly reprimanded by the ICC for breaching the rules set by them. He should have sought permission from either Cricket South Africa or ICC before revealing the t-shirt underneath his playing kit.
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