Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan cricket team skipper, is in serious trouble following the team’s loss to South Africa in the Durban ODI on Tuesday. Footage has emerged of Sarfraz making a ‘racist’ comment against Andile Phehlukwayo which has been captured by the stump microphone. The incident occurred in the third ball of the 37th over when Phehlukwayo inside-edged a ball a ball from Shaheen Afridi to fine leg and Sarfraz could not believe that the batsman was not bowled. Following the delivery, Sarfraz muttered something in Urdu which was, “abbay kaale teri Ammi kahan bethi hoyi hain aaj, kya parhwa kay aaya hai aaj.” The literal translation is, "Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?"
Phehlukwayo’s 68*, his maiden ODI fifty and his 127-run partnership with Rassie van der Dussen, who slammed 80 helped South Africa level the five-match series 1-1 after suffering a loss in Port Elizabeth. It was a great day for Phehlukwayo, who also picked up 4/22 to bowl Pakistan out for 203. In the post-match presentation, Sarfraz did not do himself any favours as he struggled to pronounce Phehlukwayo’s name. “We needed one more wicket but credit goes to the one with a difficult name (Phehlukwayo), I don't know to pronounce that and also the other batsman (Rassie van der Dussen),” Sarfraz quipped.
The incident blew up into a massive controversy and many people have lambasted Sarfraz’s conduct. The ICC's ‘Anti-Racism Code for Participants' describes the offence as "engaging in any conduct (whether through the use of language, gestures or otherwise), which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify any reasonable person in the position of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee, Umpire Support Personnel or any other person (including a spectator) on the basis of their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin".
Sarfraz to Pehuhlukwayo: "abbay kaale teri Ammi kahan bethi hoyi hain aaj, kya parhwa kay aaya hai aaj." 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/svIlnqGhbf— Hassan (@iamhassan9) January 22, 2019
Phehlukwayo came to the crease when Pakistan had reduced South Africa to 84/5 in their pursuit of 204 in Durban. He survived a review off legspinner Shadab Khan and almost dragged the reverse sweep back onto his stumps off the same bowler. Phehlukwayo survived another LBW appeal off Hasan Ali and just managed to survive a catch as Pakistan’s frustration mounted. In the 36th over, Phehlukwayo was dropped on 50 by Shadab off the bowling of Faheem Ashraf and their frustrations mounted when Shaheen Afridi could not get to mistimed lofted shot in the 41st over.
The South African player’s all-round exploits lit up Kingsmead but Sarfraz’s conduct has spoiled what was a tense game. The status on whether Sarfraz could be charged under the ICC Code of Conduct will be determined in the next couple of days.