January 30, 2019: Sarfraz accepts ICC's decision, vows to 'improve himself'
Pakistan cricket captain Sarfraz Ahmed vowed to become a better player as he returned home after being handed a four-match ban for racist remarks directed at Andile Phehlukwayo in Durban last week.
Sarfraz was greeted as he landed back at Karachi airport by some 200 fans, who held placards condemning the ICC's decision.
"Whatever happened has happened," Sarfraz told media at the airport after landing from Cape Town. "I accepted my mistake and ICC's decision is in front of you.
"I will improve myself and my performance in the future and I thank my supporters for their backing."
January 27, 2019: Sarfraz called back from South Africa; PCB regrets ICC decision
The Pakistan Cricket Board says they are disappointed with the International Cricket Council's decision to suspend Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed for four matches over racial comments during Durban ODI against South Africa.
"The PCB had anticipated that the matter had been resolved amicably between the two players and the two Boards following Sarafraz Ahmed’s public apologies which were accepted by the player, the Board and South Africa cricket team," said a PCB release.
In light of the ICC's decision, the PCB decided to call Sarfraz back home immediately. All-rounder Shoaib Malik will be leading the side in remainder of ODI series and the subsequent T20Is.
In consultation with Sarfaraz, it has been decided that he will return to Pakistan immediately. Shoaib Malik will captain the team for the remaining ODIs and T20 internationals of the series, while Mohammad Rizwan has been included in the T20I side.— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) January 27, 2019
January 27, 2019: ICC hands Sarfraz four-match suspension over racist comments
The ICC handed Sarfraz Ahmed a four-match suspension following racist comments made by the Pakistan captain during the second ODI were picked up by a stump microphone.
"The ICC has a zero-tolerance policy towards conduct of this nature," ICC chief executive David Richardson said in a statement.
"Sarfraz has promptly admitted the offence, was regretful of his actions and has issued a public apology, so these factors were taken into account when determining an appropriate sanction," added Richardson.
January 25, 2019: Sarfraz apologises to Phehlukwayo in person
Sarfraz tweeted a picture of himself shaking hands with Phehlukwayo on Friday before the start of third ODI in Centurion. The caption of the tweet read: "This morning I apologised to Andile Phehlukwayo and he was gracious enough to accept my apology and I hope the people of South Africa also accept my apology."
This morning I apologised to Andile Phehlukwayo and he was gracious enough to accept my apology .and I hope the people of South Africa also accept my apology. pic.twitter.com/bco00dGumR— Sarfaraz Ahmed (@SarfarazA_54) January 25, 2019
January 24, 2019: South Africa forgive Sarfraz
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis says they have forgiven Sarfraz Ahmed for his inappropriate on-field comment against Andile Phehlukwayo in the Durban ODI because he apologised immediately.
"We forgive him because he said sorry," du Plessis said on Thursday ahead of third ODI in Centurion. "He has apologised and taken responsibility for it. It is out of our hands and ICC will have to deal with it now."
January 23, 2019: Sarfraz issues apology; PCB regrets the incident
Following the uproar on social media, Sarfraz issued an apology on Twitter, claiming his words “were not directed towards anyone in particular and he certainly had no intention of upsetting anyone”.
1/2 - 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...— Sarfaraz Ahmed (@SarfarazA_54) January 23, 2019
2/3 - 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...— Sarfaraz Ahmed (@SarfarazA_54) January 23, 2019
3/3 - ...across the globe and will always respect and honour them on and off the field.— Sarfaraz Ahmed (@SarfarazA_54) January 23, 2019
The PCB also issued a statement, regretting the incident and outlining its stance of zero tolerance towards racism.
“The PCB expresses regret over the remark made by their captain Sarfaraz Ahmed. 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."
January 22, 2019: Sarfraz in hot waters after on-field racist comment
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed could face serious punishment after he was caught on the stump mics making an inappropriate racist comment against South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo.
The incident happened in the 37th over of South African innings in the second ODI at Kingsmead. Sarfraz was heard on the stump mics saying: "Abey kaalay, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parhwa kay aaya hai aaj?".
This literally translates to: "Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What prayer did you ask her to say for you today?"
Immediately after Sarfraz' comment, commentator Mike Haysman asked Ramiz Raja: "What's he saying there, Ramiz?"
"Difficult really to translate that," Ramiz replied. "It's a big long sentence."