Johannesburg: Pakistan wicketkeeper Rashid Latif was cleared on Wednesday of a charge that he made a racist comment towards Australia’s Adam Gilchrist during Tuesday’s World Cup match.
“I am extremely relieved at being cleared of a very serious charge and I am happy that my stance has been vindicated,” Latif said. “This was a very serious charge and I could not have lived with the slur of being tagged a racist.
“I am hopeful that this issue will now die down and I have no hard feelings towards anyone, including Gilchrist and the Australian team. I just want to now concentrate on the World Cup.”
The charge was brought under the ICC code of conduct by Steve Bernard, the Australian team manager, on behalf of Gilchrist after the Group A match, which Australia won by 82 runs.
“I was shocked by the comment I believe I heard but I was more than comfortable with the process followed by the ICC and fully accept the outcome of the decision,” Gilchrist said. “I’ve shaken hands with Rashid and Waqar Younis and I’m happy to say the issue is totally closed.
“Rashid and I have had a fantastic playing relationship and friendship over the years and I hope it can continue that way. I don’t want to see a situation where ill-feeling arises.”
Match Referee Clive Lloyd explained the reasons behind his decision to clear Latif.
“I heard representation from both parties and video evidence supplied by the ACB,” Lloyd said in a statement. “Taken in its entirety I decided there was not sufficient evidence to prove the allegation. Accordingly, Rashid Latif was exonerated from the charge.”
The 34-year-old Latif top-scored with 33 as Pakistan struggled to 228 all out in reply to the world champions’ 310 for eight.