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Faf du Plessis slams ICC’s decision to suspend pacer Kagiso Rabada

South African cricket team captain Faf du Plessis believes Kagiso Rabada’s intense celebrations are a result of ‘pure passion’ and defended the pacer after the International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended him for two Tests.

cricket Updated: Mar 13, 2018 13:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Faf du Plessis,Kagiso Rabada,South African cricket team
Kagiso Rabada has been banned for the rest of the series against Australia after being found guilty of two charges of misconduct for aggressive wicket celebrations in the second test in Port Elizabeth. Rabada’s first offense, of intentionally bumping into Australia captain Steve Smith after dismissing him in the first innings, earned the young quick three demerit points. Those disciplinary points took him over a threshold, leading to a two-test ban. (AP)

South African cricket team captain Faf du Plessis has defended pace bowler Kagiso Rabada after the latter was suspended by International Cricket Council (ICC), suggesting that cricket’s governing body was robbing Test cricket and that Rabada’s reaction if anything was ‘pure passion’.

Rabada was handed a two-Test suspension after being found guilty of a level two charge of ‘inappropriate and deliberate physical contact’ with with Steve Smith on Day 1 of their second Test in Port Elizebeth whilst giving the Australian cricket team skipper a send-off.

“For me, the way KG plays the game, he is a competitive fast bowler. He works bloody hard. He runs in and bowls quick for a long periods of time,” Du Plessis told reporters.

“So, when he gets big wickets, that’s a celebration, that’s energy, that’s passion. For me, it’s pure passion.”

The 33-year-old also said cricket was being pushed towards a far more ‘sensitive side’ over the past few years.

“Obviously these days the attention has focused on what is allowed, what is not allowed, I just think that has changed so much over a year or two. Two or three years ago, that was the norm. I think we’re going on the sensitive side with everything at the moment. Every single incident is on camera... it’s Test cricket,” he said.

“As I’ve said, we have no issues with the way the Australian team plays their brand of cricket. It’s good for the game of Test cricket.”

Proteas right-handed batsman also highlighted the importance of individual battles between players, the absence of which could almost make the game mechanical.

“People talk about where Test cricket is going. For me, the small battles are important, ” said Du Plessis.

“It’s about KG running in for 15 overs trying to get someone out and when he does, he has to show some sort of passion. Otherwise you can just put a bowling machine out there and a robot to bat.”

Former England and South Africa captains, Michael Vaughan and Graeme Smith, also expressed their disagreement with the ICC’s decision via Twitter.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 13:33 IST