Kagiso Rabada has chosen to appeal against ICC’s verdict of handing him four demerit points that ruled him out of two Test matches. As a result, he would have missed the remainder of the series against Australia which is tantalisingly poised at 1-1 after two Tests. He was charged for Level 2 offence of “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player”. The incident occurred in the first innings when Rabada ran past Steve Smith to celebrate his wicket while brushing him on the way. Besides the demerit points, he was also docked 50 percent of his match fee.
Following the appeal, ICC have now 48 hours to appoint a Judicial Commissioner to make a hearing. The hearing will be done within a 7 day period. The South African seamer remains suspended unless the appointed commissioner finds reason or argument to play in the third Test that begins on March 22 at Newlands.
Rabada picked up 11 wickets in the second Test at Port Elizabeth but also flirted with the line as far as discipline is considered. He was also pulled up for a Level 1 offence for provoking David Warner after picking his wicket in the second innings. With the three demerit points, he breached the eight demerit points level within a two year period which results to a two match suspension.
“I found that there was contact between Rabada and Smith, and in my judgement the contact by Rabada was inappropriate, and deliberate. He had the opportunity to avoid the contact, and I could not see any evidence to support the argument that the contact was accidental. 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,” said Jeff Crowe of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees.