Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed on Thursday apologised following a controversial comment aimed at South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo which was picked up by a stump microphone during the second one-day international in Durban on Tuesday. The incident occurred in the 37th over of South Africa’s run-chase during the game at Kingsmead when Phehlukwayo got an inside edge off a Shaheen Shah Afridi delivery that narrowly missed the stumps. As Phehlukwayo, who was on 50 at the time, ran to the non-striker’s end, Sarfraz was heard on the stump microphone saying in Urdu: “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?”When translated into English that means: “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What prayer have you got her to say for you today?” The skipper tweeted: “I wish to extend my sincere apologies to any person who may have taken offence from my expression of frustration which was unfortunately caught by the stump mic during game against SA. My words were not directed towards anyone in particular and I certainly had no intention of upsetting anyone. I did not even mean for my words to be heard, understood or communicated to the opposing team or the cricket fans. I have in the past and will continue in future to appreciate the camaraderie of my fellow cricketers from across the globe and will always respect and honour them on and off the field.”ICC investigates skipper: The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the match officials from Tuesday’s ODI are investigating Sarfrazs’s comments. That was the news from Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Wednesday as social media continued to call for action to be taken against the 31-year-old. With the third ODI at Centurion on Friday (today), Sarfraz is now in danger of facing suspension for three to five matches with the ICC investigating the incident. If Sarfraz is suspended, veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik is expected to the lead the team in the remainder of the series. If any action is taken by the International Cricket Council, it will be under the ICC code of conduct for player behaviour or the ICC’s anti-racism code.PCB regrets Durban incident: The Pakistan Cricket Board in a press release said it regretted the remarks made by Sarfraz. “The PCB neither endorses nor supports any comments that have the potential to cause offence, and firmly reiterates their zero-tolerance approach towards racist comments made; in whatever context. This incident has also highlighted the importance and significance of player education and training at all levels. The PCB endeavours to improve their player education programmes to ensure these types of incidents do not happen again. Sarfaraz is one of the most respected cricketers in the world. However, captaining Pakistan is a massive honour and any hurtful remarks by any cricketer, let alone the captain, are not acceptable to the PCB. The PCB is confident that this incident will not affect the series, which has been played in great spirit with some excellent performances from both side. The PCB is also hopeful that the crowds will continue to turn up in big numbers for the remaining matches to support cricket.”Published in Daily Times, January 25th 2019.