Pakistan's cricket team captain Sarfraz Ahmed faced a four-match ban for his racist slur against South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo during the second match of the ODI series between the two countries. The player also faced severe backlash by several netizens. Commenting on the matter, former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar earlier said that Ahmed got off easily and criticised the captain’s remarks saying that such comments are not acceptable in Pakistan. However, Ahmed termed Akhtar’s comments as ‘personal attack’.
"This is not acceptable as a Pakistani. In my opinion, he [Sarfraz] did this in the heat of the moment. I think he should apologize publically,” said Akhtar in a Twitter video. Ahmed responded to his comments by saying, “He [Shoaib Akhtar] is attacking me personally not criticising,” to Geo TV. He further stated that he has accepted his fault and thanked his well-wishers for their support. “I accepted my mistake and received the punishment. I want to thank 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.”
Coming to Ahmed’s controversy, the player was caught on stump mic saying, "Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?" (Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?). He later also posted a picture of himself with Phehlukwayo saying that he personally apologised and claimed that she accepted his apology.