Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed. @ AFP

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed on Wednesday has apologised for his racial comments targeted at Andile Phehlukwayo during the second ODI against South Africa at Kingsmead, Durban.

Sarfraz stirred controversy when he racially abused pacer Phehlukwayo, who’s allround show helps the hosts to a series-levelling five-wicket victory.

Phehlukwayo and Rassie van der Dussen combined to add 127 runs in quick time after the Proteas were in a spot of bother at 80/5 in the 15th over while chasing a target of 204 runs. The partnership began to frustrate the Pakistanis and Sarfraz let his emotions get the better of him. (ALSO READ: South Africa call up Beuran Hendricks for final three Pakistan ODIs)

The incident occurred in the 37th over of the South Africa innings when Phehlukwayo was facing Shaheen Afridi. After taking a run and heading to the non-striker’s end, the Pakistan wicketkeeper passed said: “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 said today?)

Sarfraz said that he had no intention of upsetting anyone. “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 yesterday’s game against SA. My words were not directed towards anyone in particular,” the senior wicketkeeper tweeted on Wednesday.

“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.”

Sarfraz could be in trouble for his comments and it’s up to the match officials to decide if his reaction comes under the ICC code of conduct for player behaviour or the ICC’s anti-racism code.

Article 2.13 of the regular code says: “This offence is not intended to cover any use of language that is likely to offend another person on the basis of their race, religion, gender, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin. Such conduct is prohibited under the ICC’s Anti-Racism Code and must be dealt with according to the procedures set out therein.” (ALSO READ: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed’s racial comment to Andile Phelukwayo could draw ICC sanction)

In the Anti-Racism code, an offence is described as “any conduct (whether through the use of language, gestures or otherwise) which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify any reasonable person in the position of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee, Umpire Support Personnel or any other person (including a spectator) on the basis of their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin.”

Earlier, Phehlukwayo pocketed four for 22 in 9.5 overs as the tourists were skittled for 203 in 45.5 overs.