Vernon Philander, South Africa’s fast bowler, has turned the heat on saying, Steven Smith could have avoided the incident.
Meanwhile, the incident led to Kagiso Rabada’s suspension from the ongoing series against the Aussies.
In the second Test, Rabada made contact with Smith’s shoulder after dismissing him in the first innings. South Africa came back from behind to level the series with a six-wicket victory in Port Elizabeth. Rabada returned with 11 wickets in the match and helped his team to make a comeback.
Rabada was found guilty of “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player” by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
As a result, he will miss the remaining two Test matches. Meanwhile, Rabada has appealed to ICC against the decision.
However, this was not the only incident of the match. Previously, Rabada also gave a verbal sent-off to opening batsmen David Warner.
Meanwhile, the first Test also saw a verbal spat between Warner and South African keeper Quinton de Kock. Warner said the wicketkeeper had made “vile and disgusting” comments about his wife.
The ICC awarded demerit points and deducted a certain percentage from their match salary.
Rabada got three demerit points for the shoulder bump in Port Elizabeth, taking him to eight points within a two-year period, which triggered an automatic two-match suspension. He also got another demerit point for the Warner send-off.
Philander in a tweet admitted Smith was equally responsible for the incident. Also, he said Smith could have avoided it, as he milked the incident.
“Haven’t really seen the footage of this incident but by the looks of this … Steve Smith gave KG (Rabada) the shoulder,” he wrote on his Twitter account, with a video clip of the incident. “He could have avoided any contact, but to me, he is just as guilty. Trying some football skills to get a penalty??? Pity he didn’t dive to top it off,” Philander tweeted.
However, later he deleted the tweet after it sparked a new controversy.
The third Test match between South Africa and Australia starts in Cape Town on March 22.
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