HIGHLIGHTS

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed met South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo on Friday and personally apologized to him after racially abusing him earlier this week during the second ODI between the two countries at Durban. The Pakistani had already allegedly apologized to the all-rounder earlier but met him today and it is to be believed that Phehlukayo accepted the apology.

“This morning I apologized to Andile Phehlukwayo and he was gracious enough to accept my apology. And I hope the people of South Africa also accept my apology,” Sarfraz tweeted.

South Africa’s captain Faf du Plessis also accepted Sarfraz’s apology and stated that the matter was now in the International Cricket Council’s hands.

“We forgive him because he said sorry. He has apologized and taken responsibility for it. It is out of our hands and ICC will have to deal with it now.”

Sarfraz’s comments had been widely criticized on social media, with former fast bowler from the country Shoaib Akhtar, in particular, condemning the words and asking him to apologize.

In the particular game, Sarfraz, who has often been caught in a soup for his comments on the field, was getting frustrated after Phehlukwayo and opener Rassie van der Dussen were stitching together a crucial stand for the sixth-wicket after Pakistan had reduced South Africa to 80 for 5 in a run chase of 204.

In the 37th over, Sarfraz was heard on the stump mic as saying, “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?” [Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What (prayer) have you got her to say for you today?]”

The comment came as Phehlukwayo had inside-edged a delivery by Shaheen Afridi to deep fine leg.

The PCB had earlier released a statement expressing regret over the comments, emphatically stating that the Board did not endorse such remarks.

“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.”

“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,” PCB had said in a statement.

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