South African skipper Faf du Plessis had his say over the racist comments made by the Pakistani captain Sarfaraz Ahmed on Andile Phehlukwayo in the first ODI in Durban. Faf, on behalf of the South African team, has forgiven the opposition captain. But he refused to brush the matter under the table.
Sarfaraz Ahmed had called Phehlukwayo a “Black Guy” in Urdu. His whole statement translated to, “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”
The 31-year-old had issued an apology via Twitter and mentioned that he didn’t intend to hurt anyone’s sentiments. Du Plessis had accepted the apology as he felt there was regret on Sarfaraz’s end.
“We forgive him because he said sorry,” said Faf du Plessis. “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.
“This is not something that we take lightly as a team, but the fact that he apologised straight away means there is regret on his part. “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,” added the South African captain.
Sarfaraz likely to face punishment
ICC is currently looking into the matter. The match-referee has sent his report to the council. If he is charged, he might face suspension of 4 to 8 matches. On the other hand, if the matter is resolved by reconciliation, Sarfaraz Ahmed might not face any punishment. On Phehlukwayo’s part, the South African all-rounder didn’t even notice the comments because of the language barrier.
“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. But it certainly doesn’t sit well with us. There seemed to be immediate regret. We’re gracious. We forgive quite easily, except maybe against the Aussies,” mentioned du Plessis.