Sarfraz Ahmed was overheard by the stump mics using the word "kaale" - a pejorative for darker-skinned people - to refer to Andile Phehlukwayo, in a recent ODI. Initially Sarfraz tweeted a statement that claimed his comment was not intended for anyone in particular (note to Sarf: it's actually more offensive if it was directed at an entire group of people, rather than just one), and that he had not intended for the comment to be heard, even though the words came out loud, out of his mouth. After this statement was received poorly, Sarfraz upped his game, releasing a picture of him shaking hands with Phehlukwayo, with the explanation that Phehlukwayo had accepted his apology. When even this failed to kill the story, Sarfraz and the PCB were willing to take part in official conciliation with CSA, but unfortunately, before this sense of intensifying regret could result in Phehlukwayo getting a car or a small apartment from Sarfraz, the ICC stepped in and slapped a four-match suspension on the Pakistan captain.
Also having to issue public apologies over the last six weeks were former Australia cricketer and Fox commentator Kerry O'Keeffe, who suggested on air while India were pummelling the Australia team that canteen staff could be good enough to play in India's first-class teams; and the pair of KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya, who made sexist comments on a TV show, and will now have to face an inquiry. Drawing inspiration from those regretful public statements, the Briefing has sought to make it easier for any future cricketing "offenders", by drawing up this apology template.
In his statement O'Keeffe had mentioned he had spent "months" practising the India players' names before eventually tripping up over them on air, but commentating half a world away at the Bangladesh Premier League, Tino Best has not put in that much effort, nor, to be fair, has he pretended to. Best was the television presenter at the toss in the first match between the teams led by Shakib Al Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza, where it became clear that he did not know something far more fundamental than how to correctly pronounce players' names. "It's a great Friday here in Dhaka," Best boomed, "as I welcome the two teams, Dhaka Riders [actually Dynamites] and Rangpur…." he paused, pointing assuredly at captain Mortaza until he provided the team name: Riders. Best then called the match referee Rangpur Paul [actually Debrabata Paul], and seemed so confident through the whole thing that you can imagine he retired to the back of the commentary box, put his feet up, lit up a cigar, and reflected on a job well done.
Tim Paine was a rare example of a cricketer whose words did not actually land him in trouble over the past two months, after the stump mics picked up several of his sledges to India batsmen, including a suggestion to Rishabh Pant to come babysit his children in Hobart. Paine was clearly trying to shake India batsmen out of the intense focus with which many of them batted in a historic series for the visitors. When Sri Lanka arrived to play a Test, at the Gabba, however, Paine was subdued behind the stumps, shouting only the regular encouragement at his own team-mates. Because why try to shake Sri Lanka out of their game plan, when it obviously is to give away their wickets at the first available opportunity, and all at once if possible.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf