Kagiso Rabada will play in the Cape Town Test after his two-match ban for making physical contact with Steven Smith was overturned by the ICC’s code of conduct appeal commissioner Michael Heron.
After a hearing via video conference lasting more than six hours on Monday, in which Rabada’s case was championed by the high profile South African legal advocate Dali Mpofu, his level 2 charge for physical contact was downgraded to a level 1 charge for conduct contrary to spirit of the game, with a 25% match fee fine and 1 demerit point, instead of the three he had initially been given by the match referee Jeff Crowe.
This means Rabada’s demerit points total dips below the threshold bringing an automatic ban, allowing him to play at Newlands. Rabada, the captain Faf du Plessis and the team manager Mohammed Moosajee all took part in the hearing.
“I think in any hearing you’ve got to be as happy as you can be,” Moosajee said after the hearing. “We’ve put our side of the story across and now it’s up to the judicial commissioner to make a stand on what he thinks.”
The full judgment made by Heron, a notable New Zealand QC, is expected to be released by the ICC shortly, with Rabada to train with his Proteas teammates at Newlands later on Tuesday.
“We’ve said it from the beginning…he needs to make sure he plans as if he’s going to play,” Moosajee said. “It would be fantastic. I think everyone wants to see him on the field.”
More to follow …
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.