Image courtesy of: Zimbio
South Africa pace bowler Kagiso Rabada has admitted that he shouldn’t have made shoulder-to-shoulder contact with Australia captain Steve Smith after dismissing him during the second Test in Port Elizabeth.
Rabada’s actions cost him dearly as he was fined 50 percent of his match fee and handed three demerit point, which led to him getting banned for the last two Tests.
However, he has since lodged an appeal and his hearing will take place on Monday, with the International Cricket Council (ICC) having appointed New Zealand’s Michael Heron as the judicial commissioner.
When asked about the incident, Rabada was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as saying: “It’s debatable. Some people think so, some people don’t. I take responsibility for what happened. On the video, it looks like I got into the guy’s space, so I shouldn’t have done that. I’ll say 50/50, it’s my fault. I didn’t feel anything in the moment.”
Given the precarious position he finds himself in ahead of the third Test in Cape Town, Rabada conceded that he will have to tone down his celebrations after taking a wicket.
“I must obey the rules. I do things because I’m passionate,” he said. “Sometimes, you are bowling against the best players. I guess I shouldn’t really rub it into their faces. It’s a case of still have the passion, but let the batsman be after I get him out.”
The 22-year-old added that many people, including his father, have advised him to keep his emotions in check going forward.
“Anyone can give you advice on that – it’s emotional, so your parents, a close friend, it’s about managing your emotions and making sure that you follow the rules, not do anything stupid,” he said. “It teaches you about yourself and how you react in certain situations, and what is a better way to react without losing anything. My father has given me advice, short and sweet, he told me to relax and talk with the ball.
“I guess incidents like these are not the best for children to see, because they can be portrayed or perceived in a bad way. It’s to do things, still being yourself, but realising that people can perceive things in a different way.”
Meanwhile, South Africa pace maestro Dale Steyn pointed out that Rabada is still young and will learn from these mistakes.
“I did think he was a bit tame in the first Test, and felt the handcuffs of those demerit points sitting on him and not being able to say anything or perform the way that he likes to perform,” Steyn said. “It is going to be fine line going forward for KG.
“We also remember he is 22. We all make stupid mistakes when we’re 22. It doesn’t matter how many cricket matches he has played, how many wickets he takes. He is still 22. We can’t be upset about that.
“Maybe this needed to happen for him to learn a bit quicker. I did stupid things when I was younger. I spat in the direction of Sulieman Benn. I haven’t done anything since. We all make these mistakes.”