PORT ELIZABETH – Proteas paceman Kagiso Rabada faces a nervous wait for the outcome of his ICC disciplinary hearing that was held on Sunday evening.
Rabada is facing a Level 2 charge for breaching the code of conduct following his “brush” against Australian captain Steve Smith’s shoulder during the second Test at St George’s Park.
After the hearing on Sunday night, the ICC tweeted: “ICC Match Referee Jeff Crowe conducted the Code of Conduct hearing with South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada after the 3rd day’s play in Port Elizabeth.
“Mr Crowe has 24 hours to arrive at a decision on the level 2 breach, which will be announced in due course via the usual channels.”
Meanwhile, master batsman AB de Villiers admits Rabada “needs to be smarter”, but does sympathise with the controversial Proteas spearhead.
Rabada has been one of the standout bowlers in this fiercely-contested series against Australia, having claimed nine wickets already in this second Test at St George’s Park to put South Africa on the brink of levelling the series on Monday.
But the 22-year-old paceman has tested the patience of the ICC match officials with his passionate celebrations, which has placed Rabada’s continued participation in the series with two matches still to play in jeopardy.
A guilty verdict following his misconduct hearing would result in three demerit points being issued, meaning the culmination of the series for Rabada here in Port Elizabeth.
ICC Match Referee Jeff Crowe conducted the Code of Conduct hearing with South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada after the 3rd day’s play in Port Elizabeth. Mr. Crowe has 24 hours to arrive at a decision on the level 2 breach, which will be announced in due course via the usual channels.
“I just have a lot of sympathy. I am not a bowler, and I can’t imagine being a bowler. Having to toil out there, run in, it is hard on the body, hard on the mind, you get a breakthrough and you just want to celebrate,” De Villiers stated after the day’s play.
“That’s his way, and obviously he has crossed the line, and I think he is regretting that. Sjoe! I am just glad that I am not a bowler, because I would have been worse than him.”
De Villiers likened Rabada’s excitable celebrations to fellow Proteas speedster Dale Steyn, and believed that the senior players in the team need to come to the youngster’s assistance.
Steyn’s “crazy eyes”, bulging veins and animated chainsaw celebration is synonymous with the legendary fast bowler.
“When Dale is on fire, you don’t even know what is going on in that mind. You just see eyes, and all sorts of stuff.
Great day of test cricket.@ABdeVilliers17 putting on a masterclass with the tail.good graft from our bowlers.big day tomorrow 🇿🇦🔥
“Luckily for him, he has never crossed the line. But I think it is because we get to him, and we will try to get to KG,” De Villiers explained.
“I think it is up to some our senior guys to just help him. I think it is important for some of the players to get around him before he gets close to the batsman, where he just wants to tell the batsman he has got him out.
“That’s what it comes down to, probably with just more emotion. That’s ultimately what he wants to tell him.
“I think you have seen me when I take a good catch, or if it is a big wicket, thank goodness I am not close to the batsman, because I would do the same thing.
“I have sympathy for the guys who cross the line, but they have to find a way of not doing it.”