Kagiso Rabada has been charged with a level two code of conduct breach by the umpires for making contact with Steve Smith.
The on-field umpires Chris Gaffaney and Kumar Dharmasena charged Rabada with making physical contact with Smith, but South Africa have indicated they will contest the charge on the basis that contact was accidental. Rabada has already accumulated five demerit points and stands to earn three more, which would amount to two suspension points and a two-Test ban.
The match referee Jeff Crowe was due to hold a hearing on Saturday night, but this has been postponed due to Gaffaney being ill. It is possible the hearing will be heard Sunday.
#SAvAUS This nudge between Rabada and Smith will no doubt be reviewed by the match referee pic.twitter.com/2ln0tmTOln
— Michael Sherman (@Golfhackno1) March 9, 2018
If found guilty, Rabada will receive three to four demerit points which will take him to eight overall and up to 100% of his match fee.
The breach will see him suffer a two-match ban and miss the rest of the series.
Rabada received three demerit points and a 50% match fee fine after a shoulder shove to Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella in an ODI. He then earned a another by swearing at Ben Stokes after dismissing him at Lord’s, which resulted in the young bowler missing the second Test at Trent Bridge.
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The demerit points remain on the record for 24 months, even after a ban.
Rabada added a fifth point to his name when he gave Shikhar Dhawan a send-off during an ODI at St George’s Park last month. Replays showed Rabada waving goodbye to Dhawan and then telling him to ‘f*** off.
The match referee may take a hard line given the volatility of the series after the incident between Quinton de Kock and David Warner.