Johannesburg: Pakistan wicket-keeper Rashid Latif has been reported to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a racial slur on his Australian counterpart Adam Gilchrist, reliable sources said on Wednesday. The incident occurred during Pakistan's innings in Tuesday's World Cup match at the Wanderers when Latif turned around to Gilchrist and reportedly shouted an obscene racial remark.
Gilchrist informed his team management about the incident, which in turn reported the matter to the ICC's match referee Clive Lloyd. After the match, Lloyd summoned the two players and the respective managers, Steve Bernard of Australia and Shaharyar Khan of Pakistan, for a hearing. Lloyd was also the match referee who handed Australia's Darren Lehmann a five-match suspension for a racial remark against Sri Lanka last month. Pakistan team spokesman, Samiul Hasan, confirmed a hearing had taken place after the match, but stressed Latif was innocent.
"Gilchrist told Lloyd on Tuesday something was said, but Latif has categorically denied abusing him," Hasan said. "Rashid is a cricketer of the highest integrity and character, he is not an ordinary cricketer whom you can fault. Latif regards Gilchrist the best batsman-keeper in the world and holds him in the highest esteem. "He told the match referee that Gilchrist and he were good mates, and Gilchrist confirmed the same."
There was no comment from the Australian camp. If Lloyd finds Latif guilty and hands him a five-match suspension as he did in Lehmann's case, Pakistan will be without a specialist wicket-keeper for the key matches ahead against England and India. There were also reports of an altercation between Pakistan quick Shoaib Akhtar and Australia batsman Matthew Hayden.