Ramiz Raja reveals why he didn’t translate Sarfraz Ahmed’s racial slur against Andile Phehlukwayo
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja also found himself to be a part of the story, though unintentionally.
Updated - Jan 26, 2019 12:52 pm
Pakistan cricket captain Sarfraz Ahmed recently made the headlines for an utterly wrong reason. Keeping in the second ODI versus South Africa in Durban on January 22, Ahmed was caught abusing opponent player Andile Phehlukwayo in racial terms and there has been a big outrage over it with fans even seeking a punishment. Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar also slammed Ahmed and wanted him to apologise.
It was during the 37th over of the South African chase when Phehlukwayo’s edge off bowling from Shaheen Afridi missed his stumps closely and Ahmed failed to tame his frustration. Pakistan had the Proteas in a corner after getting out for 200-odd runs but Phehlukwayo’s unbeaten 69 took the game away from the visitors. Earlier, he also took 4 wickets, including that of Ahmed, to restrict the visitors’ innings.
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja also found himself to be a part of the story, though unintentionally. Currently a cricket commentator, Raja was on air when Ahmed was caught heard on the stump mic: “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?). When he co-commentators wanted to know from Raja what Ahmed precisely told Phehlukwayo, the 56-year-old evaded saying it was too long a sentence. Did he deliberately avoid it to save embarrassment, both for himself and the country?
When Raja was asked later the reason for him not translating Ahmed’s words, he said that he didn’t want to deal with “any foul language and racial remarks”. “I have decided that I am not going to translate anything from Urdu to English anymore, I will like to stick to my English medium while commentating,” he was quoted as saying by Pakistan-based daily Business Recorder. “There have talks going around regarding my role that I didn’t properly translate Sarfraz’s slur.”
‘It would have been uncouth and unintelligent’
The former opening batsman also said that if he did the job of translating the racial remarks that are caught on the stump mic, it would have been an “uncouth way of commentating and unintelligent” on his behalf.
Letting it clear that he had no support whatsoever for Ahmed’s choice of language, Raja said it was good to see that the Pakistan captain apologised for his deed. He also sympathised with the captain saying the latter was under tremendous pressure. Pakistan were thumped 3-0 by South Africa in the three-Test series and they trail 1-2 in the five-match ODI series.