A decision has been taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Pakistan Cricket captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who was incidentally caught barking racial slurs at South African all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo on 22nd January 2019 during the second ODI match at the Kingsmead Cricket Ground in Durban.
After about a week of inspection, the ICC has finally decided to suspend Ahmed for four matches after he said: “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?) and everything was recorded by the stump microphones placed right in front of him.
The suspension follows a wave of serious flak towards Ahmed and his comments which was spearheaded by the former Pakistani cricketer and all-time great Shoaib Akhtar, who uploaded a minute and a half long video from all his social media handles to publicly show his disgust with Ahmed's words and urge him to make a public apology as soon as possible.
Surely, about 24 hours later, Ahmed did take to Twitter to address the whole issue but his comments felt less like an apology and more like him trying to dodge his way out by saying that his words were not supposed to be heard by any specific individual nor were they for the opposing team to understand and that whatever he said was out of sheer frustration.
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
However, when the ICC made their decision to suspend Sarfraz for four games public, the Pakistan Cricket Board, in a statement on their website, said that they were utterly disappointed by this measure.
“The PCB notes the ICC decision on Sarfaraz Ahmed with its utmost disappointment. 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,” reads the statement.
The ICC has also ordered Ahmed to take up "an education programme to promote the understanding and awareness of issues directly relevant to the offence that he has committed”.