Vernon Philander has taken an extraordinary swipe at Steve Smith over his controversial clash with Kagiso Rabada.
Rabada was found guilty of "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player" after bumping Smith with his shoulder after dismissing the Australian skipper during the second Test.
He also screamed in Smith's face after trapping him lbw on the opening day in Port Elizabeth last week.
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Rabada took 11 wickets for 150 runs to lead South Africa to victory, but the Smith incident lifted his demerit points total to eight, triggering an automatic two-Test ban.
The ICC confirmed on Wednesday that Rabada had appealed against the level-two breach, and in a stunning turn of events, Rabada's opening bowling partner Philander has taken to social media with some bizarre claims against Smith.
Philander reckons Smith should bear some of the responsibility for the Rabada run-in.
He tweeted a video of the incident, along with the caption: "Haven't really seen the footage of this incident but by the looks of this...Steve Smith gave KG the shoulder."
"He could have avoided any contact but to me he is just as guilty. Trying some football skills to get a penalty??? Pity he didn't dive to top it off."
A number of Philander's followers took exception to his claims, especially considering the appeal process is still in the works.
Rabada is the fifth player to be punished by the ICC in a fiery series after David Warner, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Marsh and Quinton de Kock.
What a bad take. Now they are appealing isn’t it wrong for players to try and influence the appeal process— Ponting's hernia (@BryantHowie) March 14, 2018
So it's Smith's fault Rabada come that close to him while screaming in his face and turning his shoulder to clip Smith. Turn it up Vernon.— Taylor Brasser (@tbrasser7) March 14, 2018
Put the beers down son u have a test match on friday.The entire Test Series has been embarrassingly childish. 1st QDK vs Warner to KG being banned &now this riduculous tweet.Can't wait 4 this series 2b done.Both sets of players are behaving like absolute kids.Grow up. #SAvAUS— Chris Thiart 🇿🇦 (@crispy_crisps) March 14, 2018
In most sports, criticising the outcome of a discipline hearing would cost you at least a fine.— Freo ⚓ Pope (@FreoPope) March 14, 2018
"Haven't really seen the footage" but you post video of the footage? Ridiculous tweet.
I'm no fan of Smith but I'm not having this.— Hoddy (@redhod99) March 14, 2018
No, the reason Rabada has been banned is because he is a serial offender. Over the last couple years he’s been fined and banned, Kagiso and the proteas only have themselves to blame— William Morrissey (@William49179108) March 15, 2018
Sounds like your clutching at straws here Vern... maybe a bit worried because someone else needs to find a way to get the wickets instead of KG? 🤔😬🙄— Samuel Verschoor (@samverschoor13) March 14, 2018
you could get a job in the Trump administration with spin like that.— Nick Sculley (@sculls_6) March 14, 2018
Smith has said his team would actually rather Rabada did play in the remaining two Tests in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
"Kagiso is a world-class bowler and you always want to come up against the best -- that is for sure," he said. "He is right up there, playing unbelievably well."
The ICC must name a commissioner by this Friday and the appeal has to be heard within seven days.
Rabada will remain suspended unless the commissioner permits him to play in the third Test, which starts next Thursday at Newlands in Cape Town.
The 22-year-old South African insists his brush with Smith was accidental, saying: "If I did it deliberately, I would not have contested the charge".