Pakistan cricket captain Sarfaraz apologises after racist remark

Sarfaraz Ahmed was caught 'sledging' on stump microphone during the second ODI match in South Africa.

    Pakistan cricket captain Sarfaraz apologises after racist remark
    Ahmed said he 'had no intention of upsetting anyone' by his words [Richard Huggard/Getty Images]

    Pakistan cricket captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has apologised for his racist remarks against a South African batsman during the teams' second One-Day International in Durban on Tuesday.

    During the game, Ahmed was heard saying "hey black [man], where is your mother sitting, what prayer did you get her to say for you today" in Urdu as South Africa's Andile Phehlukwayo ran off to the non-striker's end in the 37th over.

    Ahmed's actions drew fierce criticism and, as the video of the incident was widely circulated online, many Twitter users called on the Pakistani cricketer to apologise.

    On Wednesday, the cricketer issued an apology on Twitter, saying he "had no intention of upsetting anyone" and "did not even mean for my words to be heard, understood or communicated to the opposing team or the cricket fans".

    Ahmed was in line to face International Cricket Council (ICC) sanctions after South Africa team manager Mohammed Moosajee confirmed the governing body had taken note of the comment.

    "The ICC and the match officials have noted the alleged incident," said Moosajee.

    "They have started the necessary procedures to investigate the matter. We can only comment once we have received the results of the investigation. Any further clarification/updates have to go through the ICC."

    On-field racism is considered one of the most serious acts that can be committed, with the possibility of a lifetime ban for anyone found guilty, according to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-racism code.

    Players may be penalised for "engaging in any conduct - physical or verbal - which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify on the basis of their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin".

    Sledging happens fairly often as players seek an advantage over their opponents. Any disciplinary action against players can be initiated by the match officials. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News