Proteas speedster Kagiso Rabada’s appeal against his two-Test suspension has given South African cricket fans a smidgen of hope.
The 22-year-old was given three ICC demerit points following his ‘shoulder brush’ with Australian captain Steve Smith in the second Test in Port Elizabeth after being found guilty of a Level 2 offence.
After leading his team to victory, Kagiso Rabada will be sitting in the stands for the next two games. pic.twitter.com/AGnvMYq7MV
— Mail & Guardian (@mailandguardian) March 13, 2018
But Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Rabada have since appealed that decision in the hope that the punishment will either be lessened or set aside.
Rabada had also accepted a Level 1 charge – one demerit point – for his send-off of David Warner in the same Test.
It leaves Rabada on nine demerit points (eight points results in a two-Test suspension).
If his appeal sees his charge lessened to a Level 1 offence, then he will be on seven demerit points and will no longer face suspension.
However, for that to happen in time for him to take part in the third Test at Newlands starting on Thursday, March 22 is unlikely.
The appeal was made official on Wednesday afternoon, at which point the ICC had 48 hours to find a judicial commissioner to head up the appeal hearing.
Once that has been done – by Friday afternoon at the latest – the appeal hearing must take place within seven days.
That means that the latest the hearing can take place is Friday, March 23.
In addition, an ICC official confirmed to Sport24 on Thursday that there is no time limit in place for the judicial commissioner’s official ruling.
What that means is that even if the hearing is completed before the Newlands Test begins, the findings of that hearing could potentially only be confirmed after the match has begun.
The only way that Rabada could feature in Cape Town is if the ICC move incredibly quickly with the entire process and then determine that their own original punishment for Rabada was too harsh.
CSA, meanwhile, are still in the process of assembling their own legal team. – Sport24