South African bowler Kasigo Rabada has been banned for one Test match and fined 15% of his match payment after excessively celebrating the wicket of England’s Joe Root.
Rabada clean bowled the England captain on day one of the third Test on their series in South Africa, continuing down the length of the pitch before screaming in celebration.
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The 24-year-old picked up a demerit point from the ICC after admitting to breaching the code of conduct as it pertains to “using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his or her dismissal during an international match”.
The demerit point, his fourth in 24 months, meant Rabada copped an automatic one test ban - leaving both English and South African fans perplexed.
England great Michael Vaughan labelled the ban ‘absolutely bonkers’, while many others also took to social media to complain about the decision.
“Rabada getting a 1 game ban for celebrating taking the wicket of the opponent’s best player is absolutely bonkers,” Vaughan wrote on Twitter.
“Over rates and slow play, nothing gets done, celebrate a wicket and you are banned.
“The world is bloody nuts.”
Players aren't robots.— Jack Mendel 🏏🗞️ (@Mendelpol) January 17, 2020
They have emotions, and when they get a big wicket they react. And it's a good thing. Fans want to see their best players fired up and passionate about what they do. It makes it more interesting to watch. Stop ruining the game @ICC #SAvENG
Kagiso Rabada is out of the last Test having picked up his fourth demerit point for his celebration after dismissing Joe Root yesterday. I know he has previous but it's harsh. And can only reduce the spectacle of the last Test on a fast pitch...— Paul Newman 🌈 (@Paul_NewmanDM) January 17, 2020
Rabada will play out the remainder of the Test, having taken 2/58 from 19 overs on day one.
Ben Stokes (76 n/o) and Ollie Pope (56 n/o) will take to the crease for England, with the four Test series in South Africa tied at one all.
Kevin Pietersen photo sends cricket world into frenzy
The third Test hasn’t all been bad blood though.
Former England pair Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior have put old disagreements behind them, chatting and shaking hands on the pitch before play began in the third Test in South Africa.
The pair shared a dressing room for many years but their relationship took a bitter turn in 2014 when Prior was pilloried in Pietersen's autobiography as a "backstabber" and mocked for his 'big cheese' nickname.
Prior was hurt by the depiction, but there was a hint of thawing when the former wicketkeeper retired from cricket the following year and received a tweet of support from Pietersen.
The duo are both acting as summarisers for TalkSport during the third Test at Port Elizabeth and converged in the middle shortly before the toss took place.
They talked cordially for several minutes and shook hands warmly as they parted, with Pietersen later taking to Twitter to share the moment.
Alongside a picture of the pair he wrote: "Lovely to see @MattPrior13 this morning. Bygones! We won some amazing Test matches together and time is a healer."