Kagiso Rabada, second from right, celebrates with teammates after dismissing Australia's Shaun Marsh, for 24 runs on the first day of the second Test in Port Elizabeth.
Kagiso Rabada, second from right, celebrates with teammates after dismissing Australia's Shaun Marsh, for 24 runs on the first day of the second Test in Port Elizabeth. Michael Sheehan

Top lawyer to fight for Rabada

CRICKET South Africa has enlisted prominent barrister and politician Dali Mpofu to fight Kagiso Rabada's two-Test ban.

CSA released a statement early on Friday morning confirming Mr Mpofu's appointment.

Rabada's hearing over a charge of making "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact" with Steve Smith is expected to take place on Monday, although the International Cricket Council is yet to reveal who will serve as judicial commissioner.

"I do believe this is an important case for all South Africans and has implications for our shared project of nation-building. We should all wish Kagiso luck for Monday," Mr Mpofu, the chairman of socialist party Economic Freedom Fighters, told newspaper The Times.

Mr Mpofu was part of the legal team that successfully overturned the rape conviction of former South Africa fast bowler Makhaya Ntini, represented victims of the Marikana Massacre in 2012 and has worked on other high-profile cases.

As a young lawyer, Mr Mpofu had a close connection with Nelson Mandela's wife Winnie and the anti-apartheid African National Congress party.

Appointed to the country's Judicial Service Commission by former president Jacob Zuma in 2017, Mr Mpofu is a former chief executive of the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Rabada brushed Australia skipper Smith's shoulder during a screaming send-off that marred the second Test.

Match referee Jeff Crowe conducted a hearing earlier this week and found the express paceman guilty.

The level-two charge was punished with a fine and three demerit points which, combined with Rabada's poor disciplinary record, triggered a two-Test ban.

Desperate to have the world's top-ranked bowler on the park when the series continues in Cape Town next Thursday, the Proteas lodged an appeal against the ban.

Rabada will remain banned from the third and fourth Tests until Crowe's verdict is ratified or overturned at the hearing.

However, CSA is expected to attempt to convince the commissioner this is unjust and that the fired-up quick should be free to play at Newlands.

Rabada acknowledged earlier this week that he erred in Port Elizabeth.

"It's going to have to stop. I can't keep doing this because I'm letting the team down and I'm also letting myself down," he said.

"I would've loved to have been playing the next game.

"I have to see it as a big learning curve and not repeat the same mistake."

Proteas captain Faf du Plessis also appeared to be resigned to losing Rabada for the rest of this series.

"Our strike rate is zero per cent at the moment with trying to challenge these cases - it will probably stay at zero," du Plessis said.

AAP

News Corp Australia


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