South African left arm spin bowler, Paul Harris dragged Indian skipper Virat Kohli into the entire ongoing controversy about Kagiso Rabada and Steve Smith. In a tweet Harris claimed that during India’s tour of South Africa, the Indian captain behaved “like a clown” yet no actions were taken against him. The tweet came as a reaction after ICC took action against South African pacer Kagiso Rabada for alleged misbehavior during a match.
Harris, who played 37 Tests for South Africa, went on to say on Twitter on Monday that the two-match suspension on Rabada, after being found guilty of a Level 2 ICC Code of Conduct offence of ‘inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player’, shows that ICC has a problem with Rabada or the South African team.
Incidentally, the ICC had sanctioned Kohli for repeatedly complaining to the umpires about a damp ball and then aggressively throwing it to the floor during the second test against South Africa in Pretoria. He was fined 25 percent of his match fee and received one demerit point.
Rabada received a fine of 50 per cent of his match fee and three demerit points after a disciplinary hearing following his denial of the charge.
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.
Earlier in the day, South Africa spearhead Vernon Philander took to Twitter to accuse Smith of initiating the shoulder contact with Rabada. Philander went on to say that Smith gave the shoulder to Rabada and is ‘just as guilty’ as the fast bowler. However, Philander was quick to backtrack and deleted the tweet, claiming his account was hacked.
Philander, who played the match in question, had also took a dig at the Australian skipper in the tweet stating that Smith could have avoided contact and it seemed that Smith could have tried ‘some football skills to get a penalty’.
(Originally Published in TOI)