Kagiso Rabada has been suspended for two Test matches, after he was found guilty of a level 2 code of conduct offence in Port Elizabeth. The incident took place on Friday when the Soutn African fast bowler made physical contact with outgoing batsman Steven Smith.
Rabada received three demerit points, taking his total eight within the last 24 months. According to the ICC’s rules, that activates a two-Test ban, meaning the Man of the Match from St George’s Park will not be in action at Newlands in a week’s time, or in Johannesburg on March 30. South Africa have 48 hours to appeal the decision.
“I found that there was contact between Rabada and Smith,” the match referee Jeff Crowe said. “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.”
There had been another disciplinary charge hanging over Rabada on Monday: after bowling a peach to dismiss David Warner on Sunday, he indulged in a send-off. The ICC handed him another demerit point for that, which means he is be on the threshold of 12 points. Twelve demerit points equate to six suspension points, meaning he might miss at least three Test matches.
More to follow
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.