Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed believes the controversial comment he made to South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo was made into “a bigger deal than it was”.
In the 37th over of South Africa’s chase in the second ODI in Durban, the broadcast stump mic picked up Sarfraz speaking in Urdu.
The 31-year-old 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?”
As a result, Sarfraz was handed a four-match ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Sarfraz feels that the media made him seem like a racist as they honed in on the fact that he had used the word “black”.
He also claimed that Phehlukwayo did not perceive his remark to be racist, and was instead upset with the fact that he had said something about his mother.
“When I went to say sorry to Andile for using the word [kaale, meaning ‘black’], he was more offended by my reference to his mother, saying I had used inappropriate language about her,” Sarfraz was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “In the media, the word ‘black’ was highlighted to suggest that I had said a racist thing, but I explained the context to him.
“I’m sitting here as Pakistan captain – and for that matter any player playing for Pakistan – thanks to the prayers of their mothers. So I explained I used the world black, which I apologise for, but I insisted I had not said anything offensive about his mother.
“Then we gave him an example from our Islamic tradition, and their team manager [Mohammed] Moosajee [also a Muslim] agreed with what I was saying. So the whole controversy was created by the word, and if people had looked at the context, there was nothing in it. It was just that word, and as you know in our society, it sometimes gets inadvertently used. So yes, I made a mistake, and that was that.
“I just want to make it clear that a huge issue was created out of one word. I never wanted to say something racist to him or taunt him in that way.”