- Kagiso Rabada faces Level Two charge for brushing shoulders with Steve Smith
- The bowler took six wickets as Australia were bowled for 239 in second innings
- But his participation in the rest of the series is in doubt as he faces possible ban
Kagiso Rabada will miss the remainder of South Africa’s tetchy Test series against Australia after being found guilty of barging Steve Smith.
Fast bowler Rabada, who claimed 11 wickets in the series-levelling win in Port Elizabeth, was handed a two-match ban at an after-match disciplinary hearing on Monday.
The 22-year-old pleaded not guilty to the level two code of conduct offence of ‘inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player’. But he was fined 50 per cent of his match fee and received three demerit points from match referee Jeff Crowe.
Kagiso Rabada was hit with a Level Two charge after brushing against Australia’s Steve Smith (pictured left)
The South Africa bowler appeared to lean into Smith after dismissing him in the first innings
It took Rabada’s points accumulation to eight over a 24-month period, leading to an automatic and immediate suspension.
In addition to his punishment for his shoulder making contact with Aussie captain Smith during the first innings, Rabada incurred a further 15% reduction from his appearance payment and an extra demerit point after accepting a second charge for giving David Warner a send-off on the third day.
‘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,’ said Crowe.
‘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.
South Africa’s Rabada celebrates after taking the wicket of Australia’s Usman Khawaja
‘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.’
Rabada was banned for one Test match last summer after admitting using foul and abusive language towards Ben Stokes, after dismissing the England all-rounder at Lord’s.
The one-point infringement took him to a suspension level of four, having previously been found guilty of deliberate physical contact with Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella.