South Africa news January 19, 2016

Phangiso sanctioned for drunken flight incident

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Brokensaint on January 21, 2016, 19:48 GMT

    diamond that's a lame attempt to get the protea fans back. can't wait for India when we see the batsman watching the ball zip pass there noses

  • Subbu on January 21, 2016, 4:06 GMT

    When Castle Lager is the sponsor of the cricket team, why be surprised if overindulgence happens, maybe with free Lagers??

  • Krishnakanth on January 20, 2016, 8:41 GMT

    @DIAMOND2017, @11_WARRIOR... This happened on October 26th and Nagpur happened from November 25th to 27th... Was Phangiso even part of Test Squad? Come on,you're sour after how the latter part of the tour turned out, but at least make some sense

  • Tshepiso on January 20, 2016, 7:38 GMT

    I know the player personally and can tell you that the situation is blown out of proportion. He did the right thing though and apologized and put everything in the past, hope to see him in the World T20s.

  • Nirmal on January 20, 2016, 6:48 GMT

    @ DIAMOND2017, I fully agree with you.

  • Pranshu on January 20, 2016, 1:05 GMT

    Probably the tour of India did it to him. I blame nobody except nagpur pitch.

  • Pierre on January 19, 2016, 20:06 GMT

    Really, this is not good enough from an international cricketer (nor anyone). Very disappointing from a very talented player who still had a lot to offer SA.

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