CAPE TOWN: Imran Tahir, the South Africa legspinner, has been reprimanded by the ICC for a wicket celebration in which he revealed a t-shirt under his playing kit with an image of the late Junaid Jamshed, a one-time Pakistani pop icon and latterly a religious preacher, who was also popular among some former Pakistani cricketers. After dismissing Asela Gunaratne in the second T20 at the Wanderers, Tahir took off into one of his typical celebratory sprints and then pulled his playing shirt over his head to reveal the image. Jamshed was one of the victims of a Pakistan International Airlines plane crash en route to Islamabad in December. Jamshed was photographed earlier that day with Saeed Anwar in Chitral, in northern Pakistan, from where the plane took off.
Tahir’s reaction was quickly picked up on social media and there was initially no response from the ICC. But they have since reprimanded him for a procedural breach under section G1 of their clothing and equipment regulations which relates to displaying personal messages without approval. The regulation states: “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”. Tahir admitted the offence and accepted the sanction so there was no need for a formal hearing.