Sarfraz apologises for ‘unintentional’ racist comment


Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed on Wednesday apologised for his ‘racist’ comment in the second ODI against South Africa after being summoned by match referee Ranjan Madugalle, terming his slur directed at SA batsman Andile Phehlukwayo as “unintentional”.

Taking to Twitter, Sarfraz said, “I wish to extend my sincere apologies to any person who may have taken offence from my expression of frustration which was unfortunately caught by the stump mic during yesterday’s game against SA.”

“My words were not directed towards anyone in particular and  I certainly had no intention of upsetting anyone. I did not even mean for my words to be heard, understood or communicated to the opposing team or the cricket fans.”

“I have in the past and will continue in future to appreciate the camaraderie of my fellow cricketers from across the globe and will always respect and honour them on and off the field,” he added.

According to reports, Sarfraz was summoned by the match referee after he passed inappropriate comments on SA batsman Andile Phehlukwayo during the Tuesday’s match.

Sarfraz said that his comment was uttered in frustration and did not relate to racism, reports said, adding that the referee has submitted his report to the ICC which announce its decision soon.

The comment was caught on the broadcast stump mikes and discussed by the commentators.

A video making rounds on social media indicates the statement he allegedly passed in Urdu language against Phehlukwayo.

Sarfraz said to Phehlukwayo, “Abey Kaaley, Teri Ammi aaj kaha baithi huyeen hain, Hain??? Kya parhwa ke aya hai aaj tu?”

The sledge translates to: “Hey black [man], where is your mother sitting? What [kind of prayer] did you ask her to say for you today?”

The Pakistan captain made the comment as South Africa were in their 37th over and Shaheen Afridi delivered ball in the second of five ODIs in the Pakistan-South Africa series.

Sarfraz is in danger of facing sanctions from the ICC as the match officials can initiate disciplinary action, which may fall under the ambit of their anti-racism code.

According to the “ICC Anti-Racism Policy for International Cricket- 1 October 2012”, The ICC and all of its members should “not at any time offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage, vilify or unlawfully discriminate between persons based on their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, and/or national or ethnic origin (inappropriate racist conduct).”


Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has regretted the Durban incident.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the board said, “The PCB expresses regret over the remark made by their captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and picked up by the stump mic during the second ODI against South Africa in Durban. The PCB neither endorses nor supports any comments that have the potential to cause offence, and firmly reiterates their zero-tolerance approach towards racist comments made; in whatever context.

“This incident has also highlighted the importance and significance of player education and training at all levels. The PCB endeavors to improve their player education programmes to ensure these types of incidents do not happen again.

“Sarfraz is one of the most respected cricketers in the world. However, captaining Pakistan is a massive honour and any hurtful remarks by any cricketer, let alone the captain, are not acceptable to the PCB.

“The PCB is confident that this incident will not affect the series, which has been played in great spirit with some excellent performances from both side. The PCB is also hopeful that the crowds will continue to turn up in big numbers for the remaining matches to support cricket,” the statement concludes.


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