England v South Africa, 1st Investec Test, Lord's, 3rd day July 8, 2017

Rabada 'heartbroken' at being given Test suspension


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Rabada aggression part of cricket - Bavuma

Kagiso Rabada, the South Africa fast bowler who will miss next week's second Test at Trent Bridge, is said to be "heartbroken" to have let down his team, according to his team-mate Temba Bavuma, after he was served with an automatic suspension by the ICC for accumulating four demerit points.

Rabada earned one demerit point for swearing at Ben Stokes after dismissing him for 56 in England's first innings, on top of three he already had for a shove on Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella in an ODI in January.

"KG is quite an emotional character," said Bavuma. "The way he acted - he didn't act like that on purpose. He was aware of the consequences. It was just in the heat of the moment. He is quite heartbroken as he feels he has let down the team."

On the thorny issue of sledging, Bavuma added: "It's something I have had to endure from schoolboy cricket days. I see it as part and parcel of cricket.

"There's a fine balance that needs to be achieved. You don't want it to be completely taken away but you still want the respect of the game to be there. A balance needs to be achieved."

The ICC's code of conduct has come under scathing criticism from former South Africa captain Graeme Smith who disagreed strongly with the decision.

Though Smith understood the sanction was based on collective, not isolated incidents, he did not think the expletive uttered by Rabada, which was picked up on the stump mic, should have been punished that harshly.

"It's ridiculous," Smith told ESPNcricinfo. "No-one wrote about it, no-one spoke about it. It was only because it was on the stump mic that it's become a thing."

The incident occurred on the opening day of the first Test at Lord's when Rabada dismissed Stokes and told him to "f*** off", something Smith thought was not serious enough to earn Rabada another demerit point.

"It could have been handled better. I don't think it was aimed at Ben Stokes. I just think it was out of frustration. If it wasn't picked up by the stump mics he wouldn't have been done," Smith said on Test Match Special.

"There is obviously a line that the ICC have drawn and we need to stay on the right side of it," said England's James Anderson.

"When I watch games, I like having the stump mic there. It's the players' duty to be aware that is there and they turn it up quite loud sometimes."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Edwin on July 14, 2017, 10:49 GMT

    Anderson was smart enough in the Jadeja incident of 2014 to have made his vocal outburst where there were no mikes.....

  • b.misl9017082 on July 10, 2017, 2:33 GMT

    Hahaha Jimmy Anderson is a classic you have got to love him. He's probably as bad as my Aussies when it comes to sledging, but the thing with him is you can't understand what he says at the best of times with that heavy Lancashire accent and they way he mumbles. So he's got the perfect guise, speak a style of English no one can understand! For Jimmy it is no understand, no reprimand :)

    I just had a look at this stats, for a guy I never really rated sheesh he's come of age. He was a plus 30 average for a big part of his career but it's now got it down to 28.44 impressive stuff. If his body holds out he should become the leading quick wicket taker for tests. I certainly don't put him in the McGrath/Walsh/Akram etc level of quality but good on him, he's been a good servant for ENG and test cricket.

  • Noor on July 9, 2017, 14:58 GMT

    Jimmy one of those guys who swear when they don't get weekets. He should not be advising to any one. Before you put finger on someone he should have looked him self. 1 finger go to some one stayed 4 fingers on him. Remember....,,!

  • Sharon Unstable Dexterium on July 9, 2017, 10:04 GMT

    It is really good to bring this suspension system. Players can't just be sad at getting the suspension. They should learn from it.

  •   Aadil Harbhajun on July 9, 2017, 9:14 GMT

    If this is the precedent then Aus are gonna have a hard time fielding a team...

  • damian on July 9, 2017, 9:01 GMT

    Come on, Anderson isn't giving advice. He was asked the question. He hasn't volunteered to speak about.

  • hasnai5802933 on July 9, 2017, 7:38 GMT

    James Anderson giving advice about proper behavior on a cricket field? The end us is near, I reckon.

  • ttcraz4183216 on July 9, 2017, 7:19 GMT

    This is the thing I dislike about English cricketers: if they behave in one way that the rest of the cricketing world condemns, to the English, it's just part of cricket; it's passion. Now, we have Anderson, who doesn't even smile much, and who has said some awful things in the past, advising cricketers how they should behave and claiming to like having the stump mic around. It was the same Anderson who cursed Jadeja at Trent Bridge but denied any physical altercation.

  • Paul on July 9, 2017, 6:46 GMT

    As well as not bringing Stokes into this equation, people need to be careful about being critical of Anderson. He was asked for a comment and gave an answer. I'm sure he realises that one of the reasons he was asked is because of the language he himself uses on the field at times whilst bowling. Presumably he will now try to control his outbursts as he understands he will be subject to the same, new demerit system that hasn't been there in the past. It will affect a lot of cricketers, not just those mentioned below with righteous indignation. The system only started in September so lots of players will have to change the way they act. Whatever people like Smith and Bavuma might say, stump mics and tv close ups these days pick up a lot of "stuff" they never used to. This carries all the way down to grass roots level and recreational cricket is becoming a very unpleasant place at times as a result. No wonder we are losing kids from the game.

  • kingis5755772 on July 9, 2017, 2:39 GMT

    Control your temper boy !.. that's is the lesson from this... You are a great bowler.. no doubt..

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