|Player:||Shahid Afridi, BC Broad, Imran Nazir, A Nel|
DateLine: 11th February 2007
Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi faces a Saturday code of conduct hearing which could decide his World Cup destiny. The 26-year-old has been charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) with "conduct unbecoming... which could bring (players or officials) or the game of cricket into disrepute". The charge was laid by ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed and relates to an incident which took place in the first one-day international against South Africa at Centurion on Sunday. As Afridi walked up the stairs after being dismissed he reacted angrily to something said by a fan by jabbing his bat in the direction of the supporter. If found guilty, Afridi faces a ban of between two and four Test matches or between four and eight one-dayers. Pakistan have two more one-day internationals left in South Africa before their World Cup campaign starts on March 13 against West Indies in Jamaica. An ICC statement said that Saturday's hearing will be presided over by ICC match referee Chris Broad and will be held after he and the Pakistan squad arrive in Cape Town from Port Elizabeth, where the third one-dayer was washed out on Friday. Meanwhile, Pakistan opener Imran Nazir was on Friday found not guilty of breaching the code of conduct during the second one-dayer against South Africa in Durban on Wednesday. Nazir was charged by the South Africa team management for "using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and/or the making of an obscene gesture." The alleged incident took place when Nazir and South Africa fast bowler Andre Nel had an exchange of views during the Pakistan innings. Match referee Broad said: "There was no doubt that some strong language was used on the field but I felt it was important to take into account the context in which it took place. I formed the view it was a passing remark between two players in the heat of a match and on that basis I decided it did not require action from me. Players must be aware that they cannot go around abusing each other right, left and centre and expect to avoid punishment and if that type and level of abuse is reported and the player is found guilty then I will take firm action. However, I believe players must still be able to display and express a degree of emotion and passion on the field because they are not robots; they are human beings and we must have some recognition of that."