NATIONAL NEWS - Even if they’re generally known as an organisation that doesn’t box clever, Cricket South Africa could celebrate a significant triumph on Tuesday morning after succeeding in their appeal against Kagiso Rabada’s suspension.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed that its judicial officer, Mike Heron, had overturned his two-match ban, meaning the Proteas quick is available for the rest of the Test series against Australia.
Rabada’s defence was led by Dali Mpofu, the EFF’s national chairperson.
In his ruling, Heron stated he couldn’t find that the 22-year-old had deliberately made contact with Aussie skipper Steve Smith.
“The key issue is whether Mr Rabada made ‘inappropriate and deliberate physical contact’ with Mr Smith. I am not ‘comfortably satisfied’ that Mr Rabada intended to make contact and I therefore find him not guilty of the charge,” Heron said in a statement.
However, Rabada was handed a more lenient sentence of a 25% match fee fine as well as one demerit point.
It means he stands on seven points and can’t exactly merrily continue with his feisty way of celebrating wickets.
“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,” said Heron.
“As a consequence, 1 demerit point accrues. Mr. Rabada will be well aware of the consequences of any further breaches of the code.”
The ICC “accepted” the decision.
“This is perhaps an opportune moment to remind all players of their responsibilities to maintaining a standard of behaviour which sets a good example to players at all levels of the game, especially the young players. We want to see the game played with skill, passion and respect for the opposition, the match officials and the laws,” said CEO Dave Richardson.