Sarfraz Ahmed has landed himself in big trouble after he passed an alleged ‘racist’ sledge against Andile Phehlukwayo during the tense Durban ODI which Pakistan lost by five wickets as they squandered a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. During the 37th over of the innings, with South Africa rebuilding with fifties from Rassie van der Dussen and Phehlukwayo, Sarfraz passed a comment which was caught on stump mic. Sarfraz muttered something in Urdu which was, “abbay kaale teri Ammi kahan bethi hoyi hain aaj, kya parhwa kay aaya hai aaj.” The literal translation is, "Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?"
The comment has not gone down well with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) who have condemned the act. “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,” said the Board in a statement.
Shoaib Akhtar also lashed out at Sarfraz in a video message which he posted on his Twitter handle, which was later deleted. In the video, he said, “Yeh bilkul acceptable nahi hai, as a Pakistani. Mere khayal mein heat of the moment mein ho gaya hai. He should apologise publicly. Itni giri hui baat aur kisi ke colours ke upar baat nahi karni chahiye thi. As a Pakistani captain jo unhone kaha it is totally wrong. Because people are getting inspired by him because he is leading the team as a captain so you should lead the team in terms of saying the right things. So, I hope apology will come soon.”
The decision to delete the tweet from Shoaib prompted massive criticism. However, on his official Twitter handle, Sarfraz tweeted his sincere apology and promised that he regretted his action. “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,” the Pakistan skipper tweeted.
Pakistan will take on South Africa in the third ODI in Supersport Park, Centurion with the five-match series level 1-1.