South African captain Faf du Plessis has raised the question on ICC’s demerit points system. After the second Test between the hosts South Africa and Australia, Kagiso Rabada was charged in level two with three demerit points.
During the first innings of the second Test, South African pacer Kagiso Rabada had a shoulder contact with Steven Smith after dismissing him for 25 runs. Another demerit point added on Rabada’s account in the second innings, after giving a bossy send-off to Australian opener David Warner.
As a result of these demerit points, Rabada has been suspended from the next two Test matches. It means that Rabada will miss the last two vital Tests of this ongoing Test series between South Africa and Australia.
Talking about Rabada’s recent demerit points, skipper Faf du Plessis showed his unhappiness with those decisions. He quoted, “I think we’re just going too far on the sensitive side because every incident on the cameras is: ‘Did you see that? Did you see that? Did you see that?’ It’s Test cricket. We as a team have got no issues with the way the Australian team play their brand of cricket. It’s good for the game of Test cricket.”
He further added, “People talk about where is the future of Test cricket. This, for me, is an important part of Test cricket – the battles that you face. That is KG [Rabada] running in for 15 overs trying to get someone out and eventually when he gets him out, he has to show that passion. Otherwise, you could just put a bowling machine and a robot to bat.”
The Test is running with several controversies from the first Test. In the first Test, we had observed Warner-de Kock off-field verbal fights along with the on-field warm sledging and Lyon’s unsportsmanship celebration after dismissing AB de Villiers.
Also read: Kagiso ‘Furious’ Rabada
Faf compared Rabada’s shoulder contact incident with David Warner’s off-field reaction moment with Quinton de Kock. While both Rabada and Warner were charged in level 2 with three demerit points, Faf believes that Warner’s one was more aggressive than Rabada’s one.
Faf commented, “The charge against KG is a level 2 with three demerit points, and the charge against Davey is a level two with three demerit points. For me, if you look at those incidents, one is brushing off the shirt, the other is a lot more aggressive. My question was: why are both these incidents labeled the same? For me, they are not. The contact (between Rabada and Smith) was very minimal, it was a shirt flick of two players and you would get one or two demerit points as a slap on the wrist because it wasn’t full body contact. But that’s where I’m sitting as a player, not as an official.”
Faf further added, “For me, it’s just about looking at the context of the series, and it’s crucial that you have the best players playing. For us, it’s about proving that what KG did… they call it body contact, we would say it is a shirt being brushed or it was not deliberate. As the match referee mentioned, there are bigger things at play here, that’s why he didn’t ban Davey Warner and make it a level threeoffensee because it’s a series between two big teams. I just asked the same question.”
Faf was also asked about challenging that decision which he replied, “Our strike rate is 0% at the moment with trying to challenge these cases. It will probably stay at 0% (after the Rabada case). I don’t think there is a big turnover when it comes to (challenging) these things.”