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Sarfraz apologises for inappropriate remark during South Africa ODI

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has apologised for the seemingly racist remark directed at South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo during the second ODI against South Africa in Durban.

"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," Sarfraz wrote on Twitter.

"My words were not directed towards anyone in particular and 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," Sarfraz continued.

"I have in the past and will continue in future to appreciate the camaraderie of my fellow cricketers from across the globe and will always respect and honour them on and off the field."

Timeline: Sarfraz-Phehlukwayo incident: all you need to know

Incident

The incident happened in the 37th over of South African innings in the second ODI at Kingsmead. Phehlukwayo inside-edged the third delivery of the over to deep fine leg for a single. As he ran off to the non-striker's end, 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."

In the post-match presentation, Phehlukwayo, the player of the match, seemed relaxed about having been the target of several comments by Pakistan players. "It was good chat," he said.

A potential disciplinary action can be taken by the match officials, who can review and declare whether Sarfraz’ remarks violated the ICC Code of Conduct or the ICC's Anti-Racism Code.

According to ESPNCricinfo, South Africa's team manager Mohammed Moosajee has confirmed that the ICC had taken note of the incident. Moreover, reports suggest that match referee Ranjan Madugalle has met with Sarfraz to discuss the incident, but neither the ICC or the PCB has made a public statement.

PCB issues statement

The Pakistan Cricket Board regretted the 'unfortunate incident' during the second ODI in a statement released on Wednesday.

“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," read the statement.

"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.

“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 statement further read that the Board is confident that the incident will not have any negative effect on the series.

“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 sides.”

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