South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada ripped the heart out of Australia’s batting when he took four wickets in seven balls on the first day of the second Test on Friday. He finished with 5/96, having done all his damage on either side of tea, including the key wicket of Australian captain Steve Smith.
But as crucial as the dismissal was, it was the send-off that seems to have been as much in focus as the fiery spell. Rabada, notorious for his send-offs that have got him in a soup with the ICC before, now risks being banned from the rest of the Test series.
After trapping Smith LBW, a pumped up Rabada went towards the batsman screaming and brushed shoulders with him while walking towards the rest of the team. Smith didn’t look to pleased with the physical contact but the rest of the team didn’t pay much attention. Video footage showed the shoulder brush but it is hard to point out whether it was deliberate.
However, given Rabada’s disciplinary track record and the bad blood between the teams this series, every action is under the scrutiny.
Rabada, has been booked for two send-offs in the past nine months and has five demerit points alreadt. If he gets three more, which would be the penalty for the contact, it will mean a two-Test suspension
According to ESPNCricinfo, “physical contact, which is deemed inappropriate and deliberate, falls under a Level 2 offence. If found guilty of such a charge, a minimum of three demerit points are applied. That would take Rabada to eight, which would mean he misses the rest of the Australia series.”
The South African has already been suspended once before, missing the second Test against England at Trent Bridge last year. In the past, He was given three demerit points for “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact” with Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella and another for an aggressive send-off to Shikhar Dhawan in the recently concluded India series.
This incident on the first day comes after the ill-tempered first Test in Durban, which saw David Warner and Quinton de Kock get into a heated bust-up. Warner was fined 75% of his match fee and handed three demerit points after CCTV footage showed him being restrained by teammates.
Rabada’s actions didn’t go down well with most people on social media either: