The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday handed over a two-match suspension to South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada on grounds of offence of ICC’s Code of Conduct.
The bowler’s triumphant ‘Man of the Match’ performance in the victory over Australia in the second test in Port Elizabeth was overshadowed by the ICC officials when they suspended him for the rest of the series.
Rabada was found guilty of a Level 2 ICC Code of Conduct offence of ‘inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player’ and suspended on the grounds of the same. He has also received a fine of 50 per cent of his match fee and three demerit points after a disciplinary hearing, following his denial of the incident and charges.
The incident happened in the 52nd over of Australia’s first innings in the second Test match, when Rabada, while moving towards the slips, made contact with Steve Smith with his shoulder.
Rabada, who later accepted a second charge under 2.1.7 of the code which implies using language, actions, or gestures which could provoke the batsman to an aggressive reaction, was fined another 15 per cent of his match fee, along with one more demerit point. This made his total fine of 75 per cent and four demerit points.
Although this, Rabada has accumulated a total of nine demerit points within a span of 24 months, which automatically lead to the two-match suspension.
Meanwhile, Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, was also fined 20 per cent of his match fee and handed one demerit point for a Level 1 offence under 2.1.4 of ICC’s Code of Conduct, which implies ‘using language or gesture that is obscene, offensive, or insulting during an International Match.’
Marsh accepted the charges against him without the necessity of any formal hearing. Jeff Crowe, ICC Match Referees of the Emirates Elite Panel, 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. 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.”
The charges against Rabada and Marsh were levelled by on-field umpires Chris Gaffaney and Kumar Dharmasena, third umpire Sundaram Ravi, and fourth umpire Bongani Jele.