Captain Faf du Plessis has emphasised that South Africa have forgiven Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, who racially taunted all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo during the second ODI at Kingsmead in Durban earlier this week.
Ahmed, who has since apologised via Twitter, was recorded saying in Urdu: ‘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?)’.
Phehlukwayo effectively silenced Ahmed by achieving career-best figures and a highest ODI score in a comfortable victory for the hosts.
‘We forgive him because he said sorry. He has apologised and taken responsibility for it. It is out of our hands and the ICC will have to deal with it now,’ said Du Plessis.
‘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.
“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.
‘Phehlukwayo says he didn’t even notice it and thus felt it wasn’t really directed at him. I suppose maybe because we didn’t understand it makes a bit of a difference.’
The five-match series is squared 1-1 and the third match will be played at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday. The Wanderers in Johannesburg and Newlands in Cape Town will host fixtures four and five respectively.