CAPE TOWN – The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have “expressed regret” over captain Sarfraz Ahmed’s comments during the second one-day international against the Proteas, but have not taken any action against the wicket-keeper.
Sarfraz is now the subject of an investigation by International Cricket Council match referee Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka after he made allegedly racist remarks to Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, who was batting at Kingsmead on Tuesday when the incident happened.
“Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What prayer have you got her to say for you today?” is a translation of what Sarfraz had said in Urdu, moments after Phehlukwayo got an inside edge to a ball from Shaheen Afridi that went past the stumps.
Sarfraz issued an apology on Twitter on Wednesday, saying: “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.”
The PCB have since released a statement on the matter, saying that they intend to “improve their education programmes” to avoid such incidents in future.
“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.
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
“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 Pakistan organisation said on their website.
“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.
“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 PCB is confident that this incident will not affect the series, which has been played in great spirit, with some excellent performances from both sides.
“The PCB is also hopeful that the crowds will continue to turn up in big numbers for the remaining matches to support cricket.”
Cricket South Africa did not lodge a complaint, but are awaiting the outcome of Madugalle’s investigation.
The five-match ODI series is locked at 1-1, with the next game taking place on Friday at Centurion (1pm start).