Tuesday Mar 13, 2018 | By: AFP
DUBAI: Kagiso Rabada has been suspended for South Africa’s next two Test matches after being found guilty of a Level 2 ICC Code of Conduct offence of “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player”.
He has received a fine of 50 percent of his match fee and three demerit points after a disciplinary hearing following his denial of the charge.This means Rabada has accumulated eight demerit points within a 24-month period, automatically leading to a two-match suspension. The incident happened in the 52nd over of Australia’s first innings of the second Test, when moving towards the slips, Rabada made contact with Steve Smith with his shoulder.
Rabada accepted a second charge under 2.1.7 of the code — using language, actions or gestures which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batsman on his dismissal. He received a further 15 percent fine of his match fee and an additional demerit point bringing his total to nine.
Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has been fined 20 percent of his match fee and handed one demerit point for a level 1 offence under 2.1.4 of the Code which pertains to “using language or gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an International Match”. Marsh accepted the charge and no formal hearing was needed.
Jeff Crowe of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees said: “I found that there was contact between Rabada and Smith, and in my judgement the contact by Rabada was inappropriate, and deliberate. He had the opportunity to avoid the contact, and I could not see any evidence to support the argument that the contact was accidental.”The charges against Rabada and Marsh were levelled by on-field umpires Chris Gaffaney and Kumar Dharmasena, third umpire Sundaram Ravi and fourth umpire Bongani Jele.
Revitalised Dembele can help Barcelona fill Neymar void
BARCELONA: Ousmane Dembele endured a rough start to his Barcelona career but the French winger appears to be finding his feet at a crucial time in the season.
Barcelona signed him in August from Borussia Dortmund for a then club record fee of 105 million euros ($129 million), plus a potential 40 million in add-ons, hoping he could replace Neymar after PSG had swooped for the Brazilian.
Two serious injuries limited Dembele’s participation until recent weeks, and even after he started playing regularly he was making little impact in matches.In Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Malaga on Saturday, however, Dembele shone, setting up Philippe Coutinho with a brilliant turn and cross to draw praise from his teammates.
With Coutinho Cup-tied in the Champions League, Dembele could provide the flair Barcelona lost when Neymar departed, starting in Wednesday’s last-16 second leg against Chelsea at the Nou Camp with the tie level at 1-1.
Reports in Spain have suggested Neymar wants a return to Barca, which players including Ivan Rakitic and Coutinho have welcomed.But coach Ernesto Valverde played down the speculation, describing it as a “fantasy”.
“We don’t know where it’s come from or where it’s going to end,” he said.A Neymar return would upset the balance of the team which Valverde has found to keep Barcelona unbeaten in 28 La Liga games. It would also block Dembele’s path, which seems ill-advised now the Frenchman is firing.
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