Australia v Pakistan ODIs
Azhar slapped with one-match ban
Pakistan skipper cops suspension and a fine for maintaining a slow over rate in the fifth ODI against Australia
27 January 2017, 04:56 PM AEST
They've been drubbed 3-0 in the Test matches and 4-1 in the one-day series, now the International Cricket Council has rubbed salt into Pakistan's wounds from a difficult tour of Australia.
One-day captain Azhar Ali has been suspended for one match, and fined 40 per cent of his match fee from the Australia Day game in Adelaide, for a slow over-rate offence.
The rest of the Pakistan players have been fined 20 per cent of their match fee from a game in which David Warner and Travis Head put on a record opening partnership en route to a 57-run win for the home side.
ICC Match Referee Jeff Crowe ruled Azhar and Pakistan to be two overs short of the target as Australia piled on 7-369.
It was Azhar's second over-rate offence in 12 months – the previous infringement on January 31 last year in an Auckland ODI against New Zealand.
The suspension means Azhar will miss his side’s next ODI, which is currently scheduled to be against the West Indies in April 2017.
Azhar had missed the second and third matches against Australia with a hamstring injury.
The batmsan had posted a history-making double-century in the Boxing Day Test, but retired hurt when on 12 in the opening VB ODI in Brisbane before returning later in the innings, but he was clearly hampered throughout.
Azhar's hold on the Pakistan ODI captaincy may be shaky following the side's 4-1 drubbing by Australia. Azhar took over the 50-over job following Pakistan's exit at the 2015 World Cup quarter-final stage - also against Australia - but have since won only 12 of 31 ODIs.
Pakistan snuck into this year's Champions Trophy in England and Wales, and are in danger of slipping out of the automatic qualification spots for the 2019 World Cup.
Reports in Pakistan suggested Azhar would be removed from his post by the Paksitan Cricket Board, with T20 skipper Sarfraz Ahmed poised to take over the reins. Sarfraz is also seen as a likely successor when Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq calls time on his decorated career.
Misbah wrote in his cricket.com.au column he would play the Pakistan Super League before coming to a decision on his Test future.
Quick Single: Our worst performance in six years: Misbah
"There have been lot of questions about my retirement but at the moment I have taken a time-out. That’s why I have not made any decision about it," Misbah wrote.
"I want to spend some time at home and then play in the PSL. I will then analyse how much passion for cricket I have left in me and whether I can play on.
"I think when you are playing cricket and enjoying your performances, it gives you an idea if you want to continue or not. But if you are not enjoying the competition then it becomes difficult to play.
"The PSL will be important for me in making a decision on my international future."