It was a dark day for the true fans of cricket who truly appreciate the diversity the sport aims to bring together, no thanks to the captain of the Pakistani cricket team, Sarfraz Ahmed, who racially taunted South African all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo during the second of five ODIs in Durban on Tuesday.
After an underwhelming batting display put up by the Pakistani team who were all out on 205, Proteas all-rounder, Phehlukwayo won the match with an exceptional 69-run innings to tie the ODI series at 1-1 and was also declared the Man of the Match for the outing.
However, during his innings, the Pakistani bowlers decided their level best to bowl him out but none of the six were able to send him away. A very furious and frustrated Ahmed eventually made a debacle of an attempt to sledge the batsman by saying: "Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya padhwa ke aaye hai aaj? (Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?).”
Sarfaraz Ahmed to Andile Phehlukwayo:
"abbay kaale teri Ami kahan bethi hoyi hain aaj, kya parhwa kay aya hai aaj"
"black man wheres your mother sat? What have you asked your mother to pray for you today?"#SAvPAK pic.twitter.com/vw6yuE73OE
The unwelcomed comment was so random and exasperating even to the ears of the legendary Pakistani commentator Ramiz Raja who was on-air during the match, that he dodged fellow commentator Mike Haysman's request to translate whatever the stump mic had picked up for the English speaking audience, by saying that it was a really long sentence and was really difficult to translate.
Hours after Ahmed took a firing by angry cricket fans on the internet, another Pakistani Hall of Famer, Shoaib Akhtar decided to publicly ridicule the skipper's comments in a minute and a half long video on Facebook.
“I strongly condemn it (Ahmed's racist comments) as a Pakistani. In my opinion, it was absolutely disgusting what he's said,” said the pacer. “I think he should publicly apologise for it.”
“As a Pakistani captain, he should lead by example and inspire others as well.” Akhtar said.
Akhtar's video was appreciated by many who showed their support on Twitter as well:
Standing against racist comments. . . Respect from India.— k pranai (@KPranai) January 23, 2019
Sarfraz is the weakest link in the team, gets under pressure too soon and starts blabbering...he should not be a captain rather he does not have any place in the team— Imran Akbar (@imakbar) January 23, 2019
Racism not acceptable in any manners @SarfarazA_54 these kind of Comment can let down the sports. Looking forward to strict action— FAHAD (@FAHADBILADIWALA) January 23, 2019
Captain doing such act.. what a shame.. disrespect— Shubham Tiwari (@Shubhamt208) January 23, 2019
There should be a suspension as these were very disgraceful comments passed by sarfraz. A captain should set the standards rather than being a disgrace himself— shehzad nasir (@nasir364) January 23, 2019
Shoaib bhai, this is not a heat of the moment thing. He had no idea what he was saying - these things are a part of Pakistani culture and language and he is ignorant. That being said, I agree, he needs to apologize and maybe be banned.— Zeeshan Anwar (@zeeshanwar_) January 23, 2019