Rabada is ‘allowed to play international cricket with immediate effect, available for selection for Newlands Test against Australia’, informed ICC in its release on Tuesday afternoon.
South Africa’s aggressive 22-year-old pacer Kagiso Rabada was on Tuesday cleared for the remaining two Tests against Australia by the ICC, a few days after he was suspended for violating its Code of Conduct
“South Africa bowler Kagiso Rabada has been found not guilty of the charge of making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player following a hearing before the right honourable Michael Heron QC yesterday,” the ICC said.
However, the right-arm pacer was found guilty of breaking ICC’s Code of Conduct by Heron, who has imposed a fine of 25 per cent of Rabada’s match fees and handed him one demerit point. As of now, Rabada has a total of seven demerit points and is free to play with immediate effect.
The third Test of the four-match series which is currently levelled at 1-1, begins Thursday at Cape Town.
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Rabada was earlier suspended for two Tests after he was said to have intentionally made a physical contact with Australian captain Steven Smith during the second Test at Port Elizabeth.
However, South African management and Rabada decided to challenge ICC’s ruling, which has now gone in his favour.
“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 under 2.2.7,” Heron said in the release.
“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,” he added.
While Rabada’s availability brings a lot of firepower back into the South African bowling line-up, the visiting Australian cricket team is sweating over the fitness of Mitchell Starc, who has a sore calf.