Kagiso Rabada has been suspended for two Test matches by the ICC and will thus play no further part in the series against Australia. He has been found guilty of a Level 2 ICC Code of Conduct offence of ‘inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player’. Besides the three demerit points added to his disciplinary record, he has also received a fine of 50 per cent of his match fee.
With the three demerit points, he has now accumulated eight demerit points within a two year period which results to a two match suspension. With Rabada being rapped for two incidents, ICC has come down heavily on the shoulder contact with Steve Smith in the first innings. The South Africa seamer moved towards the slips to celebrate Smith’s dismissal and made contact then.
Rabada, meanwhile, has also accepted a second charge under 2.17 of the code of “using language, actions or gestures which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batsman upon his or her dismissal”. This was picked up after his execcsive celebrations in David Warner’s face in the second innings. For this he was handed a further 15% fine and an additional demerit point bringing his total to nine.
Meanwhile, Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has also been fined 20 percent of his match and handed one demerit point for a Level 1 offence under 2.1.4 of the ICC Code of Conduct. Under the code, “using language or gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an International Match,” Marsh was charged for inappropriate langauge after being dismissed on the fourth day of the Test. The Aussie accepted the charge without any formal hearing.
“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.
CSA seeking legal councel
Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Rabada are seeking legal council after the seamer’s argument that the contact was accidental was rejected by Crowe. Shortly after ICC’s decision, CSA confirmed they were considering an appeal into the matter which is required to be launched within 48 hours of the judgement. However, even with the appeal, Rabada will still be suspended unless a Judicial Commissioner is appointed early to hear the argument and allow him to compete while the hearing is arranged.
After intention of appeal, ICC would have a 48 hour period to appoint the Judicial Commissioner and a hearing would then be held within seven days of the availability. Should the hearing not take place before the third Test, which starts on March 22, the commissioner would need to agree for Rabada to play during this period. This loophole creates a chance for Rabada to play the third Test with the series level at 1-1.