South Africa vs Australia: Kagiso Rabada banned for rest of series, admits he needs to stop letting team down

Rabada was found guilty of "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact" with Australian captain Steve Smith after dismissing Smith in the first innings.

AFP, March 12, 2018

Port Elizabeth: South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was on Monday banned for the two remaining Tests against Australia and admitted that he would have to change how he celebrates wickets.

Rabada was found guilty of "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact" with Australian captain Steve Smith after dismissing Smith in the first innings. He was fined 50 percent of his match fee and issued three demerit points after a disciplinary hearing following his denial of the charge.

That took his total of points after three previous offences to eight and triggered an automatic two-Test ban.

South Africa bowler Kagiso Rabada reacts during day three of the second Test cricket match between South Africa and Australia at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on March 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI

Kagiso Rabada handed two-test ban after receiving three demerit points after altercation with Steve Smith. AFP

"It's going to have to stop," he said. "I'm letting the team down and letting myself down."

He was speaking after a man of the match performance in South Africa’s six-wicket win in the second Test against Australia, but before the verdict from the International Cricket Council was announced.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) immediately announced they had 48 hours to appeal the decision and were seeking legal opinion. CSA said Rabada would remain suspended unless a judicial commissioner was appointed early and allowed him to play pending a final decision.

Rabada accepted a second charge after a send-off of David Warner in the second innings and received a further fine of 15 percent of his match fee and an additional demerit point.

Match referee Jeff Crowe said, "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.

"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."

Rabada said he would need to avoid getting into close proximity with opponents.

"I won’t change the way I express myself but I will get far away from the batter," he said.

Rabada said he had contested the charge on the Smith incident because he believed he had not made deliberate contact with Smith's shoulder, which his captain Faf du Plessis described as "a shirt flick."

"If I knew I did it deliberately I wouldn't have contested it," said Rabada. "Honestly, I didn't feel contact in that moment. I was just so pumped up."

Rabada said it was different from the case against him when he gave Ben Stokes of England a send-off in a Test at Lord's last year, which resulted in a single demerit point which added to a previous three points ruled him out of the next Test.

"With the Stokes incident I didn't contest it because I knew I did it," he said.

He described his emotions as "bittersweet" after one of his best Test matches. Anticipating the ban, he said, "I would have loved to be playing in the next game, especially coming off a performance like that. I felt really good in this Test match.

"If I do get banned I will have to see it as a big learning curve and not repeat the same mistake because I've repeated the same mistake in the eyes of the umpires. I’m not happy about it."

The ICC also announced a 20 percent fine and one demerit point for Australia’s Mitchell Marsh, who accepted a charge of using "obscene or offensive language" after being dismissed by Rabada on Monday.

Updated Date: Mar 12, 2018





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3634 125
2 South Africa 3589 112
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3772 97
6 Sri Lanka 2914 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5599 124
2 India 5492 122
3 South Africa 3842 113
4 New Zealand 4602 112
5 Pakistan 3279 102
6 Australia 3474 102
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3270 131
2 Australia 1894 126
3 India 3932 123
4 New Zealand 2542 116
5 England 1951 115
6 South Africa 2058 114