KARACH: Pakistan cricket captain Sarfraz Ahmed has fired back at former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, as he arrives in Karachi from South Africa after the ICC’s suspension.
“He (Shoaib Akhtar) is not criticising, he is attacking me personally,” said Sarfraz, while talking to media on his arrival. Sarfraz’s statement comes after he was handed over a four match suspension by the International Cricket Council (ICC), after he was caught via the stump mics making a racist comment against the South African all rounder Andile Phehlukwayo in the Durban ODI.
“I have accepted my mistake, and I am bearing the punishment. I would like to thank the PCB, for handling the situation well, and the decision made by the ICC is all known,” added Sarfraz.
The embattled faced heavy criticism for his racist remarks, earlier, Shoaib Akhtar lambasted on the Pakistani captain and demanded a public apology. “The incident is completely unacceptable for a Pakistani. I think he did this in the heat of the moment and he should publicly apologize,” the former pacer said in his video tweet.
The skipper added that he had been playing cricket for five months and would take this time to rest before playing in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
In the second ODI in Durban when Phehlukwayo was batting in the middle, Sarfraz was picked by the mic stump calling the all rounder “black guy” in Urdu. The Pakistan captain’s comment roughly translated to: “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”
After the game, Sarfraz took to Twitter and issued an apology and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also apologised expressing ‘regret over the remark made by’ him.
Following Sarfaraz’s suspension, Shoaib Malik has assumed responsibilities of captain. Under Malik, the team won the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka with the fifth scheduled for Wednesday.
Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan captain and member of PCB’s cricket committee, has also expressed his disagreement with the decision taken by the Pakistan Cricket Board to call back captain Sarfraz Ahmed from South Africa.