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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada charged after Steve Smith incident

Cricket South Africa says Rabada charged with Level 2 offence after making inappropriate and deliberate contact with Australian captain

South Africa paceman Kagiso Rabada, right, eventually made contact with Australia captain Steve Smith. Mike Hutchings / Reuters
South Africa paceman Kagiso Rabada, right, eventually made contact with Australia captain Steve Smith. Mike Hutchings / Reuters

South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada will face a disciplinary hearing on Saturday that could result in a ban from the third Test against Australia.

Cricket South Africa said Rabada, who devastated Australia's batting order on the first day of the second Test on Friday, has been charged with a Level 2 offence following an incident with Australian captain Steve Smith.

Level 2 offences are for conduct of a serious nature. In Rabada's case the alleged offence is that of making inappropriate or deliberate contact with another player.

Rabada shouted in celebration and approached Smith aggressively after winning a leg before wicket decision against him and the shoulders of the players made contact.

It is the second incident of a bad-tempered series after Australia's vice-captain David Warner was fined 75 per cent of his match fee for an altercation in a stairwell with the home side's wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

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The charge against Rabada was brought by the on-field umpires, Kumar Dharmasena and Chris Gaffaney. The hearing will be conducted by International Cricket Council match referee Jeff Crowe.

A Cricket South Africa spokesperson said Rabada would defend the charge and argue that the contact with Smith was accidental.

If found guilty Rabada could be fined between 50 and 100 per cent of his match fee and could be penalised three or four demerit points. Because he already has five demerit points, which led to him being suspended for a Test match against England last year, Rabada could be liable to serve another suspension, which could rule him out of the two remaining Tests in the series.