Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed may find himself in a bit of a spot after his racist remarks during 2nd ODI against South Africa on January 22. Sarfraz was visibly frustrated with the game going out of his hands. In the heat of the moment, Sarfraz said, “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?”.
In case you didn’t understand it. Here’s the translation of Sarfraz’s comments aimed at Andile Phehlukwayo,
“Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”
The wicketkeeper not only made a racist remark but insulted Phehlukwayo’s mother too. The comments were made in the 37th over of South Africa’s innings. He went for a drive off Shaheen Afridi’s fuller delivery and inside edged it towards deep fine leg. On it’s way, the all-rounder got lucky as he could have lost his wicket bringing Pakistan back into the match.
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) January 23, 2019
Former Pakistani commentator-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja’s reaction to the skipper’s racist comments was problematic as well. When Mike Haysman asked him what did Sarfraz say, Raja replied, “Difficult to translate that. It’s a big long sentence.” Raja almost laughed at Sarfraz’s comments instead of condemning the foul play.
The 31-year-old is at a risk of suspension by International Cricket Council (ICC). Sledging within a confined boundary is okay but racism is not something ICC is expected to let go off unpunished.
According to ICC’s Anti-Racism code,
“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.”
The onus is on Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as well. Cricket Australia banned senior players Steven Smith and David Warner for an year after the ball tampering fiasco. PCB can set an example too by taking an action against Pakistan skipper by removing him from the leadership position. Being a leader, youngsters look up to him and clearly he is not fit to be a role model for them.
Twitter was filled with tweets condemning the act:
Sarfraz Ahmed should have known better… Not in South Africa! You do not use racial slurs in South Africa. He is in big big trouble… I hope he gets banned for a year!
— Mzamo (@BoyzieMzamo) January 22, 2019
I used to admire Sarfraz Ahmed till today. This is unacceptable.
Worse, he did it in South Africa.#SAvPAK
— Abhishek Mukherjee (@ovshake42) January 22, 2019
— Ruffles (@aliakberhabib) January 22, 2019
Sarfraz Ahmed racist comment and even Ramiz raja support it by saying hard to translte it..shame on you Pakistan if you won’t take any action as well as Sarfraz ahmed you don’t got any sportsmanship including racism in sports @iramizraja @SarfarazA_54 @OfficialCSA
— Vicky Singh (@suits006) January 23, 2019
Comments uttered by Sarfraz Ahmed on-field are embarrassing and unacceptable. His racist words give a bad name to the sport he’s playing and the country he’s representing.
— Roha Nadeem (@RohaNadym) January 22, 2019
— Omar Waraich عمر (@OmarWaraich) January 23, 2019
Feeling ashamed after hearing #SarfrazAhmed‘s racist comments about SA Cricketer during 2nd ODI. U r a Leader, A Captain of #Pakistan National Team. This is ur education? This is ur Professionalism?
He must apologize publicly & @TheRealPCB should take action.#SAvPAK #PAKvSA
— AR Jaffri (@ImARJAF) January 23, 2019
Never thought it would come down to this, disgusting! Hate the action not the man, as a skipper you gotta learn to keep it together no-matter how bad it looks, you are a captain and world is watching, we are in a different era, emotional intelligence!
— Riyaz Ikram (@riyazikram) January 23, 2019
The left-handed batsman had the last laugh at the end. He was riding on his luck during the hosts’ runchase after getting dropped once and a review (DRS) going his way. He remained unbeaten in the successful runchase stitching a match-winning partnership with Rassie van der Dussen.
Also, he registered his career-best ODI performance with the bat scoring 69 runs off 80 deliveries featuring 7 fours and 2 sixes rescuing his team after a batting collapse. He also took 4 wickets wrecking the Pakistan middle order. He was rewarded with ‘Man of the match’ award for his all-round performance.