Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed issues apology after alleged racial taunt results in outcryhttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/pakistan-sarfraz-ahmed-apology-racist-comment-south-africa-andile-phelukwayo-5552924/

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed issues apology after alleged racial taunt results in outcry

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was caught on the stump mic making an alleged racist taunt directed at South Africa's Andile Phehlukwayo.

Sarfraz Ahmed
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was caught passing “racial” comments to Andile Phehlukwayo. (Source: PCB/Twitter)

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed on Wednesday issued an apology over his controversial comments directed at South Africa allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo during the 2nd ODI against South Africa. The remarks which were reportedly caught on the stump-mic were dubbed as “racist” by the public. In a series of tweets, Ahmed 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.”

The batsman added that he did not wish to hurt anyone. “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.

The captain further said that he appreciates the camaraderie with the fellow cricketers of opposing nations, and will continue to do so. “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 said.

The Pakistan Cricket Board also issued a statement Wednesday night to condemn the incident. “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,” the statement read.

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“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.

“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 crowds will continue to turn up in big numbers for the remaining matches to support cricket,” it concluded.

South Africa were floundering at 80/5 in the 15th over chasing a target of 204 set by Pakistan. Phehlukwayo then held on with Rassie Van Der Dussen to take South Africa all the way to a series-levelling victory. Halfway through the 37th over of the South African innings, Phehlukwayo inside-edged a Shaheen Afridi delivery to deep fine leg for a single. He was on 50 at the time, and the stump mic caught wicketkeeper Ahmed making the offending remarks.

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An offence that can trigger the Anti-Racism code, which has been in place since October 2012, is described as “any conduct (whether through the use of language, gestures or otherwise) which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify any reasonable person in the position of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee, Umpire Support Personnel or any other person (including a spectator) on the basis of their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin.”

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