The Pakistan National Cricket Team captain, Sarfraz Ahmed has hit out at legendary pacer, Shoaib Akhtar for ‘personal attack’. Of late, the ICC had imposed a four-match ban on Sarfraz for using racist remarks against Andile Phehlukwayo. Though he had issued a personal apology to the South Africa all-rounder, the PCB had called back Sarfraz from the tour; despite being available for selection for the final T20I. Meanwhile, Shoaib Akhtar had expressed his disappointment over such words.

Shoaib’s words are personal – Sarfraz

Returning to Pakistan, Sarfraz spoke to the media and said Shoaib didn’t criticise him; instead, he attacked him personally. The wicketkeeper-batsman said,

“He [Shoaib Akhtar] is attacking me personally not criticising,” Geo TV quoted Sarfaraz, as saying.

The captain further said he had tendered an apology earlier and is thankful to the PCB for handling this case. He added he accepted his mistake, and being a responsible figure in Pakistan; Sarfraz says he will act maturely from now on.

“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,”

Sarfraz Ahmed, Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar criticised Sarfraz Ahmed for making racial remarks. Image Courtesy: Getty

Meanwhile, Shoaib Akhtar said a four-match ban is no punishment for any player. He added, being a Pakistani, the captain shouldn’t have uttered those words. Though he said it had happened in the heat of the moment, such comments are anyway not acceptable.

“This is not acceptable as a Pakistani. In my opinion he did this in the heat of the moment. I think he should apologize publicly,” Akhtar had said in a Twitter video.

I will rest and play PSL now, says the captain

Sarfraz Ahmed opined it could be a blessing in disguise for him, as he has been playing cricket for five months now. Speaking of his near future, Sarfraz said he would rest and then will play the PSL 2019.

“I don’t see anything in it as I was playing cricket for the last five months. I will rest and then play Pakistan Super League,” he said.

However, in his absence, Shoaib Malik is leading the team. Also, on Wednesday (January 30th), both South Africa and Pakistan will take on each other in the series-deciding ODI in Cape Town.