Tuesday, 20 March 2018 - 16:33
Kagiso Rabada cleared to play, match ban lifted


Kagiso Rabada will play in the Cape Town Test after his two-match ban for making physical contact with Steven Smith was overturned by the ICC's code of conduct appeal commissioner Michael Heron.
After a hearing via video conference lasting more than six hours on Monday, in which Rabada's case was championed by the high-profile South African legal advocate Dali Mpofu, his level 2 charge for physical contact was downgraded to a level 1 charge for conduct contrary to spirit of the game, with a 25% match fee fine and one demerit point, instead of the three he had initially been given by the match referee Jeff Crowe.
This means Rabada's demerit points total dips below the threshold bringing an automatic ban, allowing him to play at Newlands.
Rabada, the captain Faf du Plessis and the team manager Mohammed Moosajee all took part in the hearing.
In his judgment, Heron said that he was not satisfied that Rabada's physical contact with Smith matched the "inappropriate and deliberate" definition covered by the ICC code of conduct.
The incident took place in the first innings of the Port Elizabeth Test when Rabada made contact with Smith's shoulder after trapping him lbw.
At that time, It handed him three demerit points, taking his total to eight within 24 months, which leads to a two-Test ban according to the ICC's rules.
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