South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada is appealing the charge leveled against him by the ICC following the incident with Steve Smith during the Port Elizabeth Test, keeping the door slightly open for the fast bowler to take part in the third Test against Australia at Newlands.
Rabada was hit with a level two charge after making what the ICC terms “inappropriate and deliberate” body contact with Smith, and slapped with three demerit points after match referee Jeff Crowe rejected the fast bowler’s claim that the shoulder contact was accidental
South Africa are refusing to take the charge lying down, having confirmed that Rabada would appeal the charge. The ICC now have 48 hours to appoint a judicial commissioner to hear Rabada’s case, and the hearing must take place within seven days of that appointment. The latest that the hearing could take place, therefore, is Friday 23 March.
Nevertheless, under the ICC’s regulations, Rabada will remain suspended unless the judicial commissioner finds enough reason to allow the 22-year-old to play while the appeal is pending.
CSA are in the process of compiling the legal team that will represent Rabada in the case, but the expectation is for them to present an argument for Rabada to play in the third Test. While Rabada could also play the fourth Test at the Wanderers if Crowe’s verdict is overturned by the judicial commissioner, there is a risk of the sanction being increased.