Source: Cricket SA

South African cricket 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.

Source: Cricket SA

Rabada was, however, found guilty of conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game, an offence under Article 2.1.1 of the Code.

As such Heron imposed a sanction of a fine of 25% of his match fee and one demerit point. This brings Rabada’s demerit points to a cumulated total of 7 and he is free to play with immediate effect.

Last week Rabada – who was crowned ICC Best Test Bowler in the World – said: “I didn’t even feel contact in that moment because I was so pumped up.”

In his summary, Heron outlined his findings:

“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.

“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.

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA – MARCH 11: Faf du Plessis (capt) of South Africa celebrate with Kagiso Rabada of South Africa after taking the wicket of Usman Khawaja of Australia during day 3 of the 2nd Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and Australia at St Georges Park on March 11, 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

“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.”

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “The ICC wholly accepts today’s decision and I would like to thank Mr. Heron for overseeing the hearing in a short time frame before the next Test starts in South Africa.

“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.”

Rabada said last week: “I can’t keep doing this because I am letting the team down and I am letting myself down.”