Wasim Akram shares his thoughts on Sarfraz’s racial comments

Wasim Akram Sarfraz Ahmed should be more responsible with what he says Pakistan South Africa cricket

Wasim Akram: “He needs to be more responsible with his words, even if they are said on a lighter note or in frustration”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Legendary Pakistan left-arm seamer Wasim Akram believes that captain Sarfraz Ahmed has to be more careful about what he says in the future after he was heard making racial comments about South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo.

In the 37th over of South Africa’s chase in the second ODI in Durban, the broadcast stump mics picked up Sarfraz speaking in Urdu.

The Pakistan skipper was heard saying: “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?”

Translated into English, it means: “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”

While Akram believes that there was no malice intended on Sarfraz’s behalf, he admitted that the 31-year-old needs to be more wary about what he says when frustrated and under pressure as he is a role model for many people in Pakistan.

“Mistakes happen, but the idea here is to learn from it,” Akram was quoted as saying by the Business Recorder. “The sense in which Sarfraz uttered those comments was not negative, but the thing is Sarfraz is a role model for the whole country, because he is the captain of the Pakistan cricket team.

“He should have been responsible… but I can imagine that he uttered those remarks under pressure. However, he needs to be more responsible with his words, even if they are said on a lighter note or in frustration.”

Sarfraz has since apologised through a series of tweets.

“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,” Sarfraz said on Twitter. “My words were not directed towards anyone in particular and 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 across the globe and will always respect and honour them on and off the field.”

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis has since said that he and the South African team have forgiven Sarfraz for his remarks.

“We forgive him because he said sorry,” Du Plessis was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “He has apologised and taken responsibility for it. It is out of our hands and ICC will have to deal with it now.

“When you come to South Africa, you have to be very careful when you make racial comments. I am sure he didn’t mean it like that but he has taken responsibility and we will have to see what the outcome of that is going to be.

“We’re not taking it lightly, but that fact that there was an immediate apology shows there is regret. We can forgive but that doesn’t mean we brush it under the table.”

Du Plessis also noted that Phehlukwayo did not react to the comment during the match as he didn’t understand what Sarfraz had said.

“Andy [Phehlukwayo] says he didn’t even notice it and thus felt it wasn’t really directed at him,” Du Plessis said. “I suppose maybe because we didn’t understand it makes a bit of a difference.

“We’re a very gracious team. We forgive easily. Maybe not so much when it’s Australia.”

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