Karachi: The head of Pakistan's cricket board said Friday that batsman Ahmed Shahzad could face disciplinary action over a religious spat with Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan. Television footage showed Shahzad passing a religious remark at Dilshan after the third and final one-day international in Dambulla last week.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has set up a committee to look into the matter despite Sri Lanka Cricket and Dilshan not making an official complaint. "Shahzad has breached the central contract in which it is clearly written that you will not involve in any religious spat with others so there can be disciplinary action against him," PCB chief Shaharyar Khan told reporters.
After Sri Lanka notched a seven-wicket win to take the series 2-1 and the players were walking off the field, Shahzad was seen on TV footage saying to Dilshan: "If you are a non-Muslim and you turn Muslim, no matter whatever you do in your life, straight to heaven." Dilshan replied he doesn't want to go there, to which Shahzad replied: "Then be ready for the fire." The remarks stemmed from reports that 37-year-old Dilshan was born to a Muslim father and a Buddhist mother and was originally named Tuwan Mohamed Dilshan.
The footage went viral on the Internet, prompting the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to summon Shahzad on Wednesday. Dilshan said he didn't even remember what was said. "I have no issues at all. I was just quite happy with the win at the time," Dilshan said in Colombo. Shahzad, 22, has a history of disciplinary problems, having been fined 50 percent of match fee after an altercation with Dilshan in the series last year.