Sarfraz was also dropped for the fourth ODI at the Wanderers, with Shoaib Malik taking over the leadership duties. Getty

Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, was charged and suspended by the ICC for four international games after he was caught via the stump mics making a racist comment against the South African all rounder Andile Phehlukwayo in the Durban ODI. Sarfraz accepted the charge related to ICC's Anti-Racism Code.

Sarfraz will miss the last two ODIs of the series against South Africa, including the ongoing game in Johannesburg, and the first two T20Is early next month. According to Article 7.3 of the Anti-Racism Code, Sarfraz will also undertake an education programme "to promote the understanding and awareness of issues directly relevant to the offence that he has committed".

In the second ODI in Durban when Phehlukwayo was batting in the middle, Sarfraz was picked by the mic stump calling the all rounder "black guy" in Urdu. The Pakistan captain's comment roughly translated to: "Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?"

After the game, Sarfraz took to Twitter and issued an apology and the Pakistan Cricket Board also made a statement expressing "regret over the remark made by their captain".

Sarfraz has been charged under the Code, namely; "Engaging in any conduct (whether through the use of language, gestures or otherwise) which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify any reasonable person in the position of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee, Umpire Support Personnel or any other person (including a spectator) on the basis of their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin."

"The ICC has a zero-tolerance policy towards conduct of this nature. Sarfaraz [sic] has promptly admitted the offence, was regretful of his actions and has issued a public apology, so these factors were taken into account when determining an appropriate sanction," David Richardson, ICC's chief executive said.

Sarfraz to return home

Following the verdict, PCB has announced that Sarfraz will return home to Pakistan immediately with Mohammad Rizwan added to the T20 squad for the series in South Africa. Veteran allrounder Shoaib Malik will be leading Pakistan for the remainder of the tour in Sarfraz's absence. The board also in a statement revealed that they were disappointed with the ICC's decision to suspend the player.

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

"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 behavior."