South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been found guilty of breaching the Level 2 code of conduct breach by the standing umpires after his shoulder brush with Australian skipper Steve Smith on day one and now faces being suspended for the rest of the series. But Rabada is appealing the charge and will have a hearing with match referee Jeff Crowe On Saturday in Port Elizabeth to clarify the intent of his actions.
After dismissing Smith lbw for 25 after lunch, Rabada brushed shoulders with the Steve as he moved to celebrate with his teammates. The contact recorded an immediate acknowledgment from Smith, who wheeled around to look at Rabada before consulting with non-striker Shaun Marsh about reviewing his dismissal.
While the moment might seem minor on the surface, Rabada has five demerit points on his disciplinary record and the brush with Smith would take him to eight and a two-Test suspension.
A Level 2 breach of the ICC code of conduct brings with it a maximum of a 100 percent match fee fine and between 3-4 demerit points added to his record, which would men Rabada would be ruled out of the remainder of the Test series.
The brush with Smith was after the first of a five-wicket burst from the right-armer, who captured 5-13 in a span of 3 overs to wreck havoc in the Australian dug out. Should Rabada, who has the best strike-rate (39.7) of any bowler with at least 100 wickets in the past 122 years.
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Talking about Rabada’s performance, Vernon Philander said, “He’s a big part of this bowling line up. Let’s hope that’s not the case and we’ll have a four-pronged attack come to Cape Town.”
As quoted in cricket.co.au, Smith said, “It’s a difficult one. Obviously, we know any kind of physical contact is not on in the game. It looked like they were walking in the same direction. From a series perspective, you hope he doesn’t get a ban, you want to see the best players playing against the best players but it is silly.”