In a heartening turn of events for the South African Cricket team, their ace fast bowler 22-year old Kagiso Rabada will be eligible to feature in the remainder of the Test series against Australia after his 2-match ban following an alleged physical contact with Australian skipper Steve Smith.
Rabada, who was initially charged with a Level-2 breach of the ICC code of conduct, has instead been found guilty of conduct deemed inappropriate to the spirit of the game. After a hearing via video conference that lasted for than six hours held on Monday, March 19th, Rabada’s case was put forward by one of the high-profile South African legal advocate Dali Mpofu, who proceeded to downgrade the Level 2 charge levied against the champion bowler to a Level 1 charge which will fetch 25 of his match fee and a solitary demerit point.
“The key issue is whether Mr. Rabada made ‘inappropriate and deliberate physical contact’ with Mr. Smith,” Heron wrote. “I am not ‘comfortably satisfied’ that Mr. Rabada intended to make contact and I, therefore, find him not guilty of the charge under 2.2.7. “I am entitled, however, to consider whether the conduct involved constitutes a lower level offense. I consider the conduct was inappropriate, lacked respect for his fellow player and involved non-deliberate and minor contact. The actions contravened the principle that a dismissed batsman should be left alone. I consider a penalty of the imposition of a fine of 25% of the applicable match fee to be the appropriate penalty for the breach of Article 2.1.1. As a consequence, 1 demerit point accrues. Mr. Rabada will be well aware of the consequences of any further breaches of the code” said Heron, a notable New Zealand QC.
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This means Rabada now has seven cumulative demerit points allowing him to play for the remainder of the series. With the series locked at 1-1, The third Test between South Africa and Australia will be played out at Newlands, Cape Town on March 22nd.