South Africa’s fast bowler Kagiso Rabada is appealing the guilty verdict handed to him by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for breaking their code of conduct in the Test series against Australia.
Rabada - the No 1 in the ICC Test bowlers ranking list – was hit with a level two charge by referee Jeff Crowe after making shoulder contact with Australian captain Steve Smith after dismissing him during the opening day of the second Test of the four-match series.
Due to this action, three demerit points were added to his previous five, triggering a two-Test ban.
The 22-year-old South African maintains that, although there was contact made with Smith, it was merely accidental.
'If I knew I did it deliberately, I wouldn't have gone to contest (the charge),' Rabada said after the Test. 'I didn't even feel contact in that moment because I was so pumped up.'
Kagiso Rabada has moved back the top spot among bowlers in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings and also crossed the coveted 900-point mark in ratings after his man of the match effort of 11-150 helped the Proteas defeat Australia by 6 wickets in PE to level the series at 1-1 pic.twitter.com/jwnuVoyJIE— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) 13 March 2018
South African captain Faf du Plessis downplayed Rabada’s contact with Smith as simply a “shirt flick” between two players.
'In a normal situation would say that the contact was very minimal ... it was a shirt flick of two players and you would probably get one or two demerit points because it wasn't full body contact,” Du Plessis explained.
'But that's from where I'm sitting as a player and not an official.'
Australian captain Smith suggested that his team wanted Rabada to play the reminder of the series.
'He's a world class bowler and you always want to come up against the best, that's for sure,' Smith said. 'He's right up there. He's unbelievable the way he's been bowling.
'If he's there, he's there... if he's not, he's not. It's our job to try and play some better cricket.'
ICC confirms appeal
'ICC confirms that Kagiso Rabada has appealed against the level two breach following the incident with Steve Smith during the Port Elizabeth Test. ICC will now appoint a Judicial Commissioner at the earliest opportunity and hearing details will be confirmed in due course,' ICC said on Wednesday.
The ICC have 48 hours to appoint a commissioner. A hearing will be made within a seven-day period. Unless the commissioner takes the decision to allow Rabada play, he will remain suspended for the rest of the series.