Pakistan Cricket Board accepts apologies made by three UAE players for social media comments

Emirates Cricket says fines paid by Rohan Mustafa, Ahmed Raza and Rameez Shahzad over comments on organisation of Emerging Teams Asia Cup to be donated to charity

Rohan Mustafa, middle, won the man-of-the-match award after he took two wickets and made a speedy 38 not out in the run chase against Malaysia at the Asia Cup Qualifier. Courtesy ACC
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The Pakistan Cricket Board has accepted apologies from the three UAE players who made critical comments on social media during the Emerging Teams Asia Cup last year, the Emirates Cricket Board has said.

Captain Rohan Mustafa, spinner Ahmed Raza and batsman Rameez Shahzad were fined and suspended for eight weeks for venting their frustrations after the UAE missed out on a chance to qualify for the semi-finals of the Emerging Teams Asia Cup in Karachi in December.

"Following the recent disciplinary sanctions imposed on three of its professional players, Emirates Cricket Board has today confirmed that the Pakistan Cricket Board has received and accepted formal apologies made to them by the players," the ECB said in a statement issued on Thursday.

As a gesture of goodwill, the ECB will donate the fines imposed on the players to a Karachi-based charity, it added.

The trio will miss this month's home series involving Nepal, but the board confirmed "they are currently involved in an intense training programme alongside" the provisional squad.

The UAE were on the brink of reaching the last four of the eight-team competition after being well placed in the final pool match against Hong Kong, but rain meant no result could be achieved. The rain shower had been relatively brief, but the pitch was deemed unplayable after water had seeped under the covers at the Southend Stadium.

UAE batsman Rameez Shahzad also got into trouble over his remarks on social media following the Karachi competition. Courtesy ICC

What did they say?

Mustafa wrote in a tweet, “I am really sorry to say but we are out because of poor facility at the ground,” while Raza said there were “club-level covers at the so called ‘Test’ venue".

Rameez wrote: “Never mind the security but there are more reasons to why international cricket has overlooked this part of the world when it comes to international cricket.”

Each promptly removed the posts, and replaced them with apologies.

“As captain of [UAE] I would like to apologise to everyone in Pakistan for our frustrated tweets after yesterday's match,” Mustafa wrote later.

Mustafa, who travelled to Kathmandu to play in the Everest Premier League thereafter, was still unable to move on entirely.

“Still hurting for not qualifying to semi in Asia emerging cup - good luck to all teams who are playing tomorrow,” he wrote ahead of the semi-finals.

Raza and Rameez wrote matching responses. “It wasn't the outcome we wanted and circumstances were unfortunate due to the weather conditions but I'd like to thank [Pakistan Cricket Board and Asian Cricket Council] for their warm welcome and generous hospitality,” they said.


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