Breaking: Kagiso Rabada Cleared To Play Remainder Of Test Series Against Australia
Credits: AFP

South Africa pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada has been cleared to play the upcoming third Test against Australia. The decision came on Tuesday (March 20) after Rabada’s six-hour appeal hearing ended in Cape Town. With Rabada winning the appeal, he is now available for the rest of the series.

The right-arm pacer was fighting a two-Test ban after coming into contact with Australia captain Steve Smith on day one of the second Test in Port Elizabeth. That controversial collision had earned Rabada three demerit points that resulted in an automatic suspension from the rest of the series.

Breaking: Kagiso Rabada Cleared To Play Remainder Of Test Series Against Australia
Rabada had accumulated three demerit points after the shoulder contact (Credits: AP)

In the first innings of the second Test,  Rabada had screamed “yes, yes, yes” after having Smith trapped lbw. He then charged in the direction of Smith and then made contact with his shoulder on his way to celebrating with team-mates.

Rabada had entered the game on five demerit points, and the incident took him to eight, which equated to a two-Test ban. Rabada had also earned a ninth demerit point when he gave David Warner a send-off in the second innings but did not contest that charge.

Judicial commissioner, Michael Heron QC of New Zealand, had 48 hours to come to a decision but took less than 16 hours to arrive at his verdict.

“The key issue is whether Mr Rabada made ‘inappropriate and deliberate physical contact’ with Mr Smith,” Heron wrote in his report. “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 offence. 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.”

Meanwhile, the decision will be a big boost for the hosts. Rabada was in red-hot form in the last Test, picking up 11 wickets to help the Proteas level the series.

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