Kagiso Rabada two-Test ban overturned following appeal


Proteas speedster Kagiso Rabada has been cleared to play the third Test between South Africa and Australia at Newlands.

Rabada, who has been highly influential in the two Tests so far, was given the ban for making physical contact with Australian captain Steve Smith during the second Test in Port Elizabeth. However, Rabada appealed the verdict, arguing that the shoulder contact was accidental in an appeal hearing that lasted nearly six hours on Monday (March 19). "I am not "comfortably satisfied" that Mr. Rabada meant to make contact and I, therefore, find him not guilty of the charge under 2.2.7".

With the four-match Test series now locked at 1-1, Rabada's presence in the South African playing XI will only bolster their chances of taking a lead in Cape Town.

The decision was taken after Judicial Commissioner Mike Heron QC could not find enough evidence to suggest Rabada made deliberate contact with Smith.

Rabada, 22, already had five demerit points on his disciplinary record and earned three more for "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player" following his clash with Smith.

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"I am entitled, however, to consider whether the conduct involved constitutes a lower level offence".

Rabada had previously accepted a second charge of "using language, actions or gestures which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batsman upon his or her dismissal" following an incident involving Australia opener David Warner in the second Test. Rabada has been allowed to participate in global cricket with immediate effect. As a effect, 1 demerit point accrues.

The third Test between South Africa and Australia starts on Thursday.

"This is perhaps an opportune moment to remind all players of their responsibilities to maintain a standard of behavior which sets a good example to players at all levels of the game".

South African squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada.