The South African team is hit by a major blow as their premier fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been suspended for two Test matches and thus he won’t partake in the remainder of the Test series against Australia. Rabada had been charged with Level 2 offence for brushing the shoulder of Australian skipper Steven Smith for which he was handed over three demerit points and also fined 50% of his match fees.
Rabada was also found guilty of Level 1 offence for giving a send-off to Australian deputy David Warner for which he was awarded another demerit point. Prior to the second Test match, Rabada had five demerit points under his belt and now his tally of demerit points have gone to nine.
Rabada was charged twice during the second Test match.
Eight demerit points are enough to suspend a player from two Test matches and Rabada has handed over the suspension. The rank number 2 bowler had also contested his hearing with Cricket South Africa but could not get away with the suspension. Rabada had to show that the contact with Smith was unintentional but Match referee Jeff Crowe said that he didn’t find any evidence that the contact was accidental.
“He had the opportunity to avoid the contact, and I could not see any evidence to support the argument that the contact was accidental,” Crowe said in a statement. “It is also disappointing that this has happened the day after the pre-match meeting I had with both teams, where the importance of respect for opponents was highlighted. I take no pleasure in seeing a player suspended, particularly a young player of Kagiso’s talent, but he has now breached the ICC Code of Conduct on a number of occasions,” Crowe added.
Meanwhile, Australian all-rounder, Mitchell Marsh was also handed over one demerit point for the Level 1 offence. Marsh had gone on to swear at Rabada after he was dismissed by the Proteas fast bowler. Marsh accepted his charges and thus there was no need for any formal hearing.
The ongoing series between South Africa and Australia has been sparred with controversies and there have been five players who have been found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct. David Warner, Quinton de Kock, Nathan Lyon, Kagiso Rabada (twice) and Mitchell Marsh have all added to their misery.