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Kagiso Rabada to miss fourth Eng-SA Test

South Africa’s hopes of winning the Test series versus England have been dealt a big blow with the news that their pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada has been banned by the International Cricket Council for next week’s fourth and final Test in Johannesburg.

The 24-year-old has been penalized for his send-off to Joe Root during the first day of the third Test in Port Elizabeth after he bowled the England captain in the 65th over. Rabada received one demerit point for the gesture, which saw him run up to Root and scream as he walked off.

Added to his previous record of three points, he will now miss the final Test versus England at The Wanderers starting a week on Friday 24 January. Under ICC regulations, players who collect four demerit points in any 24-month period are banned for either one Test, two ODIs or two T20s.

Rabada already had three points for similar incidents with batsmen – all at Port Elizabeth.

The first, involving Shikhar Dhawan, came in a one-day international versus India in February 2018. The next two were during the fractious Test series versus Australia later that year best remembered for “Sandpaper-gate”.

Both were for send-offs in the second Test, with David Warner and Steve Smith on the receiving end. Originally, Rabada had been banned for the final two games of that series when the ICC gave him three demerit points for the incident involving Smith after they judged he had deliberately made contact with the then Australia captain as he was walking off.

South Africa successfully appealed against the judgment and had the punishment reduced to three points, meaning he was free to play in the rest of a series in which Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft were found guilty of conspiring to use sandpaper to tamper with the ball during the third Test at Cape Town.

Unlike in 2018, when he was originally charged with a level two offence, under ICC regulations the match referee’s decision is final in relation to level one offences. It means Rabada, also fined 15% of his match fee, has no recourse to appeal this latest decision.

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