On 22nd January, the Pakistan cricket team was eager to extend their lead in the five-match series when they took the field against South Africa for the 2nd ODI in Newlands. Defending just 203 runs, Pakistan were seen dictating the terms when they had the hosts reeling at 80/5 in 15 overs. But, a 127-run partnership between Rassie van der Dussen (80) and Andile Phehlukwayo (69) for the sixth wicket dashed Pakistan's hopes and handed the Proteas a five-wicket win.
While the two South African batsmen were hailed for their resilient knocks, the match will now be remembered for the racist remarks fired by Sarfraz Ahmed at Phehlukwayo. "Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj (Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What have you got her to say for you today)?," the Pakistani skipper was caught saying on the stump-mic.
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 31-year-old's racist comments sparked a massive outrage on the social media. There was an apology from Sarfraz but it came a tad too late. Taking note of the incident, the International Cricket Council (ICC), later, found the Pakistani skipper guilty of breaching its code of conduct and banned him for four matches (2 ODIs and as many T20Is).
Forced to return home, Sarfraz was apologetic in his media interaction. But, he minced no words in slamming Shoaib Akhtar for his "personal attack" on the Pakistani captain. "He (Shoaib Akhtar) is attacking me personally not criticising," Geo TV quoted Sarfraz, as saying.
"I accepted my mistake and received the punishment. I want to thank PCB for handling this case and fulfilling requirements. I will improve myself and my performance in the future and I thank my supporters for their backing," the 31-year-old added.
Sarfraz must explain himself to Media & public regarding his comments to batsman.. pic.twitter.com/Ocx74ry4IW— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) January 23, 2019
Akhtar, former Pakistani speedster, had earlier slammed Sarfraz for his demeanour on the field. “I strongly condemn it (Ahmed's racist comments) as a Pakistani. In my opinion, it was absolutely disgusting what he's said. I think he should publicly apologise for it. As a Pakistani captain, he should lead by example and inspire others as well,” Akhtar had said.
While Sarfraz has been away from the field, the ODI series between Pakistan and South Africa is evenly poised at 2-2 with deciding clash scheduled in Newlands on 30th January. Following the ODI series, the two teams will also face-off in three T20Is slated to begin from 1st February.