Aaron Phangiso played in one ODI on South Africa’s India tour © AFP
Aaron Phangiso, the left-arm spinner who has played 16 ODIs and nine T20s for South Africa, has apologised after being prevented from boarding a flight for being drunk and unruly.
The incident took place on October 26 last year, after South Africa beat India in an ODI series and the squad was on their way home, but news of Phangiso’s behaviour only broke on Sunday, in Afrikaans newspaper Rapport . CSA has confirmed Phangiso was sanctioned in late November but did not reveal the nature of the punishment.
“We confirm that Aaron pleaded guilty to contravening our player code of conduct and has been sanctioned,” CSA said in a statement. “The punishment for that incident was handed out last year, and that issue is now in the past.”
It is unclear whether the sanction meted out to Phangiso involved a fine or match ban but he was the only player from the victorious series in India who was left out of the squad to play England.
Linda Zondi, South Africa’s convener of selectors, said he was not aware of the airline incident, having previously explained the decision as being based on conditions. “Imran [Tahir] is our No. 1 limited-overs spinner and in India we were trying to see who we could use with him, whether that was Aaron or Eddie [Leie],” Zondi said. “But in home conditions, we don’t need more than one specialist spinner and we also have JP [Duminy] in the squad, who can do a job.”
Phangiso revealed what took place after the victory in his apology. “We were celebrating a one-day series win in one of the toughest places to play, and I obviously had one too many drinks,” he said.
He “behaved poorly” by insulting flight attendants and other passengers on the flight from Mumbai to Dubai and was prevented from boarding the second flight from Dubai to Johannesburg. “The Emirates staff in Dubai explained that I had to stay behind and sober up, and I completely understand their reasons,” Phangiso said. He then caught a later flight back to Johannesburg.
Phangiso has vowed to try and earn back his place in the national squad, with a view to playing in the World T20 in March.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo