The International Cricket Council (ICC) slapped Babar Azam-led Pakistan with a hefty fine for maintaining a slow over-rate against South Africa at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Pakistan were four overs short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration, leading to the fine imposed by Richie Richardson of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees.
“In accordance with Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to minimum over-rate offences, players are fined five per cent of their match fee for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time,” read ICC’s press release.
The ICC release further revealed that on-field umpires Alex Wharf and Paul Reiffel, third umpire Richard Illingworth, and fourth umpire Richard Kettleborough levelled the charge. Since Azam “pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the proposed sanction”, a formal hearing was not needed.
The 1992 champions have not won a game in World Cup 2023 since losing to arch-rivals India at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, on 14 October. The one-wicket defeat to South Africa on Friday marked Pakistan’s fourth straight loss in the ongoing tournament.
Azam’s captaincy may be in peril amid his side’s nightmare run in the World Cup, with the chief of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Zaka Ashraf, stopping communication with the skipper, according to former wicket-keeper Rashid Latif.
Latif, in a recent interview, also revealed that the Pakistan players have not received their salaries as well.
“I know for a fact that Babar has got no response from the Chairman (Zaka Ashraf) when he called and messaged from India. The players have not got salaries. The Chairman is not responding to the captain and in these circumstances what do we expect from the team,” added Latif.
Latif also claimed that more trouble awaited Azam and his side as their central contracts, which they signed before leaving for the World Cup, were now under review.
Pakistan have four points from six games and are in sixth place on the World Cup table. Their next game is against Bangladesh on Tuesday 31 October at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.