Kagiso Rabada to appeal ban
The Kagiso Rabada saga is set to drag on following the fast bowler’s decision to appeal his two-Test ban.
But whether he will be able to play in the third Test against Australia at Newlands‚ which starts next Thursday‚ remains in question.
“ICC confirms that Kagiso Rabada has appealed against the level two breach following the incident with Steve Smith during the Port Elizabeth Test‚” the International Cricket Council (ICC) said in a tweet on Wednesday.
“ICC will now appoint a judicial commissioner at the earliest opportunity and hearing details will be confirmed in due course.”
The ICC have 48 hours to appoint a judicial commissioner‚ who will have seven days to convene a hearing.
If that happens quickly and Rabada is cleared he will‚ of course‚ be free to play at Newlands.
But if the process runs its full course South Africa will have to do without the bowler who took 11/150 in the second Test at St George’s Park to level the series with two matches to play.
That said‚ there is a slim chance Rabada might get the green light for Cape Town even if a decision has yet to be reached.
“Kagiso remains suspended unless the appointed judicial commissioner finds enough reason or argument to allow him to play in the third Test‚” a South Africa team spokesperson said after the appeal was confirmed.
Rabada’s lawyers have yet to be named.
There is risk in Rabada choosing to appeal. Should he lose he could be lumped with an even heavier sentence.
Rabada is in trouble with the suits for the shoulder contact he made with Smith after dismissing the Australia captain on Friday.
That earned him three demerit points‚ which‚ added to the five he took into the match‚ added up to the eight he need to trigger the ban.
For good measure he was docked another point for his verbal send-off of David Warner on Sunday.
Those are only the latest examples of the poor discipline on the field that has led to Rabada sanctioned five times in 13 months to become the first player to suffer a two-match ban since the demerit system came into effect in September 2016.
And things could get worse. If Rabada gets to a dozen points he will be banned for at least three tests.
Injury was added to insult the day after Rabada was banned‚ when he rose to No. 1 in the test bowling rankings.