As he ran through Australia on the fourth morning in Port Elizabeth, there was bad news for Kagiso Rabada filtering through from the ICC, with the Proteas paceman reported for his send-off of Australia vice-captain David Warner yesterday.
As he waits to find out whether he will be suspended for the remainder of the Test series for his making physical contact with Steve Smith on Friday, Rabada was hit with a Level 1 offence by the International Cricket Council today after screaming in the face of Warner having captured the opener’s wicket.
A Level 1 offence carries with it a maximum of 50 per cent match fee fine and two demerit points.
If he is cleared for the Smith incident by match referee Jeff Crowe, Rabada would not face suspension if given the maximum two demerit point penalty.
Rabada has been charged four times by the ICC, two of which have been for send-offs, an area of his game teammate AB de Villiers has urged the young charge to be smarter about.
“He’s got to be smarter and he knows that,” said de Villiers. “I don’t know what is going to happen to him after this Test but if he is around for the next Test match I think he would have learned from his mistakes.
“There was a lot of emotion from that last Test match going into this one and once again as a fast bowler you want to prove things to people and you want to show everyone you belong on this stage.”
De Villiers added: “I think it’s up to some of our senior guys to just help him.
“It’s important to some of the players to get around him before he’s close(enough) to a batter to tell him ‘you know what? I just got you out’.
“That’s what it basically comes down to, except with more emotion.
“He wants to tell him ‘I just won that battle’. I would’ve been the same.”
A worst-case scenario for Rabada following his charges from this Test would leave the 22-year-old with 11 demerit points, including seven that would stay on his record for 23 months.
Rabada’s history of ICC charges
Feb 2017: Inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella. Three demerit points and fined 50 per cent of match fee.
July 2017: Used inappropriate language after dismissing England allrounder Ben Stokes. One demerit point and fined 15 per cent of match fee. Suspended one Test.
Feb 2018: Using language which could provoke an aggressive reaction from another player in send-off of India batsman Shikhar Dhawan. One demerit point and fined 15 per cent of match fee.
Mar 2018: Level-two charge for making physical contact with Steve Smith during a spirited send-off. Expected to have argued it was not “deliberate” at a hearing. Later in same Test, screamed in David Warner’s face after dismissing the opener on day three. Possibly will be charged.
Qantas tour of South Africa
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights
First Test Australia won by 118 runs. Scorecard
Second Test St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth, March 9-13. Live coverage
Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26. Live coverage
Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage