We forgive Sarfraz but that doesn't mean we brush the incident under the table - du Plessis

We're gracious. We forgive quite easily, except maybe against the Aussies: Du Plessis Getty

The South Africa team has forgiven Sarfraz Ahmed for his on-field comments, which came across as racist, against Andile Phehlukwayo during the second ODI at Durban, Faf du Plessis said on Thursday (January 24) ahead of the third ODI.

"We forgive him because he said sorry," the South African skipper said. "He has apologised and taken responsibility for it. It is out of our hands and ICC will have to deal with it now. When you come to South Africa, you have to be very careful when you make racial comments. I am sure he didn't mean it like that but he has taken responsibility and we will have to see what the outcome of that is going to be. This is not something that we take lightly as a team, but the fact that he apologised straight away means there is regret on his part.

"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."

During South Africa's chase of Pakistan's 203 in Durban, Sarfraz was picked by the mic stump calling Phehlukwayo "black guy" in Urdu as the latter ran down the non-striker's end. The Pakistan captain's taunt literally translated to: "Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?"

The next day, Sarfraz took to Twitter to issue an apology and the Pakistan Cricket Board also issued a statement in which it "expressed regret over the remark made by their captain". After receiving the report from the match referee, the ICC is currently looking into the matter. If the Pakistan captain is formally charged, this being his first such offence will see him suspended for four to eight matches. But, if the matter is resolved by conciliation, according to article 4 of the ICC's anti-racism code, then there won't be any formal disciplinary action.

For his part, Phehlukwayo had not comprehended Sarfraz's remarks at the instance because of the obvious language barrier. "Andy [Phehlukwayo] says he didn't even notice it and thus felt it wasn't really directed at him," du Plessis said. "I suppose maybe because we didn't understand it makes a bit of a difference. But it certainly doesn't sit well with us. There seemed to be immediate regret.

"We're gracious. We forgive quite easily, except maybe against the Aussies."