JOHANNESBURG- A hearing that took place halfway through the series where Rabada was accused of improper conduct and bad sportsmanship, in the series against the Australia.

Rabada was suspended for two Test matches following a highly-scrutinised shoulder brush with Australian captain Steve Smith in Port Elizabeth that saw him given three ICC demerit points.

Rabada backed up by Advocate Dali Mpofu, appealed the decision successfully and had his sanction reduced to one demerit point. That allowed him to play in the final two Tests against Australia.

The released findings share the judgments of Judicial Commissioner Michael Heron, who oversaw the appeal.

He described Rabada as a “frank, unassuming and honest” witness and said he was unsure if  Rabada had intended to make contact with Smith.

Heron found, “From a review of the footage, it is equally possible that the contact was an accident as it was deliberate,”

The findings also reveal what Port Elizabeth umpires, Kumar Dharmasena and Chris Gaffaney, had originally put forward to the ICC after they reviewed the footage.

The opinions revealed why the empires witnessed what they did and it become clearer why Rabada was hit with such a heavy sanction.

Dharmasena had stated, “Upon seeing the footage, it was clear to me that there had been contact between Rabada and Smith and that the contact was Rabada’s doing,”

“Rabada had had plenty of time to have moved out of Smith’s way and therefore avoid contact but he didn’t.”

Dharmasena backtracked when he was cross-examined, saying he could not say that the action had been deliberate.

Gaffaney, after reviewing the footage, said he felt the contact was deliberate while even TV umpire Sundaram Ravi chipped in.

“I consider that Rabada had ample time to change his course and avoid contact with Smith, but he didn’t. I also did not see any apology of any kind from Rabada to Smith,” he said.

“In my view, therefore, there was inappropriate and deliberate contact on Rabada’s part.”

Photo Credit- IOL

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