Sarfraz Ahmed apologises for controversial on-field taunt


Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, has issued a general apology on Twitter for his controversial on-field taunt during the second ODI in Durban on Tuesday. But Sarfraz did not apologise to – or even mention – Andile Phehlukwayo, the South African allrounder against whom his comment, which included a racist epithet, seemed to be aimed. Instead, Sarfraz said his comments – which specifically referenced the amount of fortune Phehlukwayo enjoyed while batting – was “not directed towards anyone in particular”.

During the 37th over of South Africa’s chase, Sarfraz was caught on the stump mics saying, in Urdu: “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?”

Translated literally, that is: “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”

Until Sarfraz’s tweets on Wednesday evening, only the CSA of the involved parties had made any public comment on the matter. South Africa’s team manager Mohammed Moosajee confirmed that the ICC had taken note of the incident. It is believed that Ranjan Madugalle, the match referee, has met with Sarfraz to discuss the incident but neither the ICC or the PCB has made a public statement.

“The ICC and the match officials have noted the alleged incident,” Moosajee said. “They have started the necessary procedures to investigate the matter. We can only comment once we have received the results of the investigation. Any further clarification/updates have to go through the ICC.”

In fact, nearly 24 hours after the incident, there is no clarity yet on whether the incident, if any action will be taken against it, is treated under the ICC’s code of conduct for player behaviour or the ICC’s anti-racism code. While insulting or obscene and offensive language falls under the code of conduct, language that is deemed “likely to offend another person on the basis of their race, religion, gender, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin” falls under the anti-racism code.

Depending on what the code violation turns out to be, the window for reporting an offence can be anywhere between 48 hours to seven days.

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