South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis says his team has forgiven Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed after he apologised for his racist remark during the second ODI in Durban on Tuesday.
"We forgive him because he said sorry," said Du Plessis after South Africa's training session on Thursday, according to Espncricinfo.com
However, he added the issue was now ICC's prerogative, "He has apologised and taken responsibility for it. It is out of our hands and ICC will have to deal with it now," said the 34-year old.
However, Du Plessis stressed that accepting Sarfraz's apology does not imply that the Proteas weren't taking the issue seriously.
"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," he explained.
Reportedly, the ICC has received a report from match referee Ranjan Madugalle and appropriate action is likely to be taken soon.
The ICC's code of conduct for player behaviour or the ICC's anti-racism code, Article 2.13 of the regular code covers the use of insulting or obscene and offensive language used by players against another individual. But it 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."
Sarfraz was caught on the stump microphone blurting out a racially charged comment against Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo.
— Cricingif (@_cricingif) January 23, 2019
“Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?,” he had said, which can be translated into English as: “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What have you asked her to pray for you?”
Later, Sarfraz, issued an apology via Twitter, saying "My words were not directed towards anyone in particular and I certainly had no intention of upsetting anyone."
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) too expressed their regret over Sarfraz's comments. PCB issued a statement reiterating their zero tolerance approach towards racist remarks.
"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."