Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed is facing backlash on social media and could face action for his alleged racist remarks directed at South African all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo. The remarks were reportedly caught on the stump-mic during the second ODI between the two teams.
— Baahubali (@bahubalikabadla) 23 January 2019
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.
Mike Haysman, who was in the commentary box with Rameez Raja at the time, reportedly asked the former Pakistan batsman what it meant. Raja replied, “Difficult really to translate that. It’s a big long sentence.”
The incident wasn’t reported by the on-field umpires or the South African team. The International Cricket Council and Pakistan Cricket Board also haven’t responded to the incident yet.
Article 2.13 of the ICC code covers the use of insulting or offensive language used by players against another. But it also mentions that “This offence is not intended to cover any use of language that is likely to offend another person on the basis of their race, religion, gender, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin. Such conduct is prohibited under the ICC’s Anti-Racism Code and must be dealt with according to the procedures set out therein.”
Among those who criticised Ahmed’s offensive comment was former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar.
Sarfraz must explain himself to Media & public regarding his comments to batsman.. pic.twitter.com/Ocx74ry4IW
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) January 23, 2019
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.”