Tainted Sarfraz Ahmed terms Shoaib Akhtar's criticism as personal
Pakistan cricket team skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has lashed out at former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar for making personal attacks on him, after he was suspended by the ICC. Sarfraz has been forced to return home from South Africa after being handed a four-match suspension by the ICC for his 'racist' comments, which were directed at Proteas player, Andile Phehlukwayo. Here is more.
Sarfraz lashes out at Akhtar
"He [Shoaib Akhtar] is attacking me personally not criticizing," Sarfraz said to Geo TV. Akhtar had earlier asked Sarfraz to make a public apology after breaching the ICC anti-racism code. "This [Sarfraz incident] is not acceptable as a Pakistani. In my opinion, he [Sarfraz] did this in the heat of the moment. I think he should apologize publicly," Akhtar said in a video.
Sarfraz apologized for his comments last week
Sarfraz's controversial comments were picked up by a stump microphone in the second ODI between the two sides in Durban. Post the match, he had apologized for his comments. Sarfraz also settled the matter with Phehlukwayo.
Sarfraz had issued an apology to Phehlukwayo
This morning I apologised to Andile Phehlukwayo and he was gracious enough to accept my apology .and I hope the people of South Africa also accept my apology. pic.twitter.com/bco00dGumR— Sarfaraz Ahmed (@SarfarazA_54) January 25, 2019
I will improve myself and my performance, says Sarfraz
"I accepted my mistake and received the punishment. I want to thank the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for handling this case and fulfilling requirements. I will improve myself and my performance in the future and I thank my supporters for their backing," said the Pakistani skipper. Sarfraz will next be seen in the upcoming season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Here's what Sarfraz said during the second ODI
The senior cricketer was heard making comments in Urdu about Phehlukwayo. The all-rounder played an important role after stitching a match-winning partnership with Rassie van der Dussen to help SA level the series. According to ESPN, the comment, translated in English, read: "Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?"