Kagiso Rabada in an earlier game against England. Picture: REUTERS
Kagiso Rabada in an earlier game against England. Picture: REUTERS

South Africa will be a key player down for the second Test in Nottingham in the wake of Kagiso Rabada being banned after an altercation with Ben Stokes at Lord’s on Thursday.

The fast bowler was heard via the stump microphones telling Stokes to “fuck off” after he had the England allrounder caught behind.

The umpires‚ Paul Reiffel‚ Sundaram Ravi‚ Simon Fry and Rob Bailey‚ reported Rabada for “using language‚ actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batsman upon his/her dismissal”.

In a statement‚ the International Cricket Council said Rabada had not contested the charge and had accepted the sanction imposed by match referee Jeff Crowe — a 15% fine and one demerit point.

That’s a typical punishment for a level one offence‚ but Rabada copped a ban because he had three demerit points hanging over his head for his role in a physical confrontation with Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella in a one-day international at Newlands in February.

Any player who accumulates four demerit points within a 24-month period is automatically banned for his next match.

Chris Morris is Rabada’s most likely replacement at Trent Bridge‚ but Duanne Olivier could also come into the reckoning.

The irony of Thursday’s incident involving Stokes will not be lost on South Africans.

“You are absolute shit‚” Stokes told Temba Bavuma during the second Test at Newlands in January last year.

Bavuma went on to score 102 not out.

The pint-sized batsmen was at the crease at stumps at Lord’s on Friday on 48 not out.

With him was Rabada‚ who had come in as nightwatchman when Theunis de Bruyn was dismissed in the third over before the close.

South Africa will resume on 214/5 in reply to England’s 458.

- TimesLIVE


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