January 17, 2020 / 7:25 PM / a month ago

Rabada ban is cause for concern, says South Africa coach Boucher

PORT ELIZABETH (Reuters) - South African coach Mark Boucher said he was concerned about the disciplinary regulations in cricket which led to fast bowler Kagiso Rabada being handed a one-match ban due to his overexuberant celebration during the third test against England.

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - South Africa v England - Third Test - St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, South Africa - January 17, 2020 South Africa's Kagiso Rabada REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Rabada was fined and handed a demerit point as he was deemed to have been provocative as he loudly celebrated Joe Root’s dismissal on the first day of the third test.

The demerit point was the fourth he had accrued over a two-year period, hence it triggered an automatic one-match ban - which means Rabada will be absent from next week’s contest in Johannesburg.

“I am concerned, to be honest... you don’t want to take all the aggression out of test cricket. You’ve got two countries playing hard cricket against each other,” former wicketkeeper Boucher, who played 147 tests, said.

“There are heated situations, the guys are trying really hard and sometimes their emotions overflow.”

Boucher said he was concerned the rules and regulations did not take into account the intensity of the test arena.

“I understand where there ICC are going with it and hopefully they find a balance that they don’t take the emotion out of the game because I think there is still a big part for that in the game of cricket.”

Boucher said he did not think there was anything wrong with Rabada’s celebration, during which he stormed down the wicket and bellowed at the ground under Root’s nose.

“I wasn’t aware about all the demerit points and how it quite works,” said Boucher, who took charge of the team last month.

“It’s tough because he wasn’t even looking at the batsman but he was in his space.

“The bottom line is that ... the match referee has made up his mind.

“In his eyes it was a misdemeanour and a level one charge, which is almost like a slap on the wrist, but because of previous demerits he won’t be playing in the next test.

“In our days we didn’t have to deal with this stuff. We could pretty much say what we wanted and get away with it.”

Boucher admitted that losing Rabada for the final test against England is a “massive blow” for South Africa.

“He’s a world class performer especially at the Wanderers where he will be very effective. It’s very disappointing,” said Boucher.

“KG is a team man and he’ll be feeling very disappointed about it and it’s something we’ll have to address.”

Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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