Sarfraz apologises for racist comment

Pakistan captain's remarks during the second ODI against South Africa were caught on stump mic

Sarfraz apologises for racist comment PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has apologised for his racist remark, during the second ODI against South Africa in Durban.

The Men in Green skipper issued an apology through his official Twitter account stating that he has utmost respect for his opponents on and off the field.

Sarfraz added that he did not want to intentionally upset anyone and the slur, which came out due to frustration, caught on stump mic was not directed towards anyone particular.

1/2 - 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...

— Sarfaraz Ahmed (@SarfarazA_54) January 23, 2019

2/3 - 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...

— Sarfaraz Ahmed (@SarfarazA_54) January 23, 2019

3/3 - ...across the globe and will always respect and honour them on and off the field.

— Sarfaraz Ahmed (@SarfarazA_54) January 23, 2019

Earlier Sarfraz was caught on stump mic seemingly making racist comment against South Africa all-rounder against Andile Phehlukwayo.

The incident took place during the 37th over of the South Africa innings, where Sarfraz was left frustrated after Phehlukwayo inside-edged a Shaheen Afridi delivery. 

In result, the wicketkeeper-batsman was caught saying: "Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?" which can be translated in English as: “Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What have you asked her to pray for you?"

The development can be a disastrous one for the Men in Green, who might well be without their leader for the rest of the South Africa tour.

As per ICC Anti-Racism Code for Participants, any player or support staff will receive a punishment of four to eight suspension points if found guilty of the offence for the first time, which can also be termed as four to eight ODI or T20I suspension. 

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also issued a statement following the unfortunate incident.

“The PCB expresses regret over the remark made by their captain Sarfraz Ahmed and picked up by the stump mic during the second ODI against South Africa in Durban, " the statement said. "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."

The statement further started: "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 statement added.

PCB was also hopeful that the incident will not have an impact on the series.
“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 concluded.