PORT ELIZABETH – Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been reported for a Level 2 offence by the on-field umpires for making contact with Steve Smith’s shoulder on Friday in the second Test at St George’s Park.
The incident occurred when Rabada trapped Smith lbw shortly before the tea interval. After being given out by on-field by Kumar Dharmasena, Smith reviewed the decision.
However, during his follow-through and celebration, Rabada’s shoulder made contact with that of the Australian captain.
It is expected that Rabada will challenge the Level 2 charge, with a hearing set to be held on Sunday to interpret whether it was intentional or not.
The outcome is crucially important to South Africa, for should the charge be upheld against Rabada, the paceman will be ruled out of the remainder of the series.
Rabada took 5/96 in Australia’s first innings.
The 22-year-old currently has five demerit points to his name, and another three will see him sit out two Tests – a tally of eight demerit points within a 24-month period attracts such a penalty as per ICC rules.
Rabada’s incident is the latest in what is turning out to be an ill-tempered series.
Australian spinner Nathan Lyon was fined 15% of his match fee and received one demerit point for dropping a ball close to AB de Villiers when he was run out in Durban, while David Warner was fined 75% of his match fee and earned three demerit points for his role in the Kingsmead stairwell saga.
South Africa’s Quinton de Kock was fined 25% of his match fee and earned one demerit point for his part in the same.