The long-standing relationship between Pakistan cricket and controversy has another inglorious chapter – Sarfraz Ahmed has been blasted on social media, and faces potential sanctions, after seemingly racist remarks towards South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo.
The Pakistan captain has been caught passing an unbecoming comment in the direction of the Proteas all-rounder during the second ODI between South Africa and Pakistan at Durban, videos of which have quickly been circulated across social platforms.
The incident captured in the above video posted on Twitter occurred during the 37th over of South Africa’s tense run-chase. Phehlukwayo, who played a starring role in the home side’s eventual win, had just crossed a half-century and was completing a single when Sarfraz hurled his comment, in Urdu, seemingly towards the batsman.
Sarfraz was heard, quite clearly, on the stump mic saying, “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya padhwa ke aaye hai aaj?”
The literal translation of Sarfraz’s comment is: “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What (prayer) have you got her to say today?”
Immediately after the exchange, Mike Haysman asked Ramiz Raja on commentary: “What’s he saying there, Ramiz?”
A somewhat shaken former Pakistan captain and 1992 World Cup winner took a few seconds to gather his response. “Difficult really to translate that,” said Ramiz. “It’s a big long sentence.”
‘Pathetic, Unacceptable, Racist’
Sarfraz’s slur has not been received well by most observers. Commentators, journalists and fans alike, from Pakistan and elsewhere, have admonished the actions of the Pakistan skipper, with some even calling for strict punishment.
ICC Stance on Racism
The International Cricket Council (ICC) holds a strict stance against racism and if found guilty, Ahmed faces severe punishment.
Article 2.13 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, published and effective as of 30 September 2018, covers obscene, insulting or offensive remarks on and around the cricket field, and the ruling on racist remarks is as follows: “such conduct is prohibited under the ICC’s Anti-Racism Code and must be dealt with according to the procedures set out therein”.
As per the ICC Anti-Racism code, which has been in place since October 2012, an offence is described as “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”.