Sarfaraz Ahmed apologises for racial comments against Proteas batsman

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Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed apologised for making racial remarks at South African batsman Andile Phehlukwayo during the second ODI in Durban.

The 31-year-old was picked up by the stump mic on January 22, saying: “Hey black [man], where is your mother sitting? What prayer did you get her to say for you today?” (Abay kaalay, teri ammi aaj kahan baitheen hain? Kya parhwa ke aya hai aaj tu?), Dawn reported.

The Pakistan captain took Twitter to extend his ‘sincere apologies.’

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“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,” Ahmed tweeted.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it did not support the comments.

“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,” PCB statement said.

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

The wicket-keeper batsman could land in trouble if the International Cricket Council decides to conduct further investigation in the matter.

South Africa won the second match against Pakistan to level the ongoing series 1-1.

(With ANI inputs)

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