ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cricket captain Sarfraz Ahmad has tendered apology from the South African all rounder and all cricket followers in his back to back Tweets, saying his words were never directed towards ‘anyone in particular.’
Sarfraz was caught uttering controversial racist remarks against Andile Phehlukwayo who was slowly but steadily taking the second one-dayer away from the Pakistan’s grasp Tuesday with match winning 69 not out innings. “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...”
In yet another Tweet minutes later, Sarfraz said “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.”
During the 37th over of South Africa’s chase, Sarfraz was caught on the stump mics saying, in Urdu: “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?”
In English : “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”
The ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle after getting Sarfraz side of story in a post-match hearing referred the matter to ICC for further deliberation.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has termed the incident as unfortunate. “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 endeavours to improve their player education programmes to ensure these types of incidents do not happen again.
Sarfaraz 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 crowd will continue to turn up in big numbers for the remaining matches to support cricket.”