South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been banned from the series-deciding final cricket Test against England.
Rabada was given a one-Test ban after breaching the International Cricket Council code of conduct for his celebration after getting England captain Joe Root out on the first day of the ongoing third Test in Port Elizabeth.
Rabada ran through and celebrated fists pumping and screaming close to Root after bowling him.
He was found guilty of using language, actions or gestures" which could provoke an aggressive response from the batsman. The 24-year-old Rabada was given one demerit point for the offense but it's his fourth demerit in the last two years, which results in a one-match ban.
Rabada was charged with the offense in Port Elizabeth by match referee Andy Pycroft. He pleaded guilty and accepted the punishment.
It's a major boost for England's hopes of winning the four-test series and a major blow for South Africa's. Rabada is the No. 4-ranked bowler in the world and South Africa's spearhead.
The fourth Test starts next Friday (24th January 2020) in Johannesburg.
The South Africa-England series is tied at 1-1.
Michael Holding, Kevin Pietersen criticise Rabada for celebration
Rabada was criticised by former West Indies fast bowling great Michael Holding and ex-England batsman Kevin Pietersen after incurring a ban.
Both former internationals said Rabada had let his team down by being a repeat disciplinary offender.
He was fined 15 percent of his match fee and handed one demerit point. As it was his fourth demerit point in a 24-month period he incurred an automatic one-match ban.
"He has to learn," said Holding, who was commentating for SuperSport television.
"You can't keep making the same mistakes. He has to remember he is damaging his team. South Africa without Rabada at the Wanderers – that's a big blow."
After bowling Root, Rabada charged down the pitch before celebrating with fists clenched almost with touching distance of the England captain.
Rabada pleaded guilty to "using language, actions or gestures which disparage or could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his or her dismissal".
Fellow commentator Pietersen said the way Rabada got close to batsmen after dismissing them was unacceptable.
"He shouldn't be celebrating in a batsman's personal space," he said, adding Rabada had behaved in a similar way after dismissing Zak Crawley during the second Test in Cape Town.
"I feel sorry for (South African captain) Faf du Plessis and (coach) Mark Boucher," said Pietersen. "South Africa are going to miss their strike bowler at the Wanderers."
However, former England captain Nasser Hussain defended Rabada.
"Cricket has shot itself in the foot," Hussain told Sky Sports.
"Was there any physical contact? Was there any sledging? A bowler showed some emotion.
"I don't think he made a mistake yesterday. He was foolish for someone on three demerit points to do that. I think we're sanitising the game if we can't have anything like that."
He said fans who had bought tickets to see Rabada bowl in the fourth Test would feel cheated.
Another ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan also backed the South African bowler.
"Rabada getting a one game ban for celebrating taking the wicket of the opponents best player is absolutely bonkers..." he tweeted.
"Over rates & slow play nothing gets done ... Celebrate a wicket and you are banned ... The World is bloody nuts ..."
One of Rabada's previous offences occurred at St George's Park two years ago when he made shoulder contact with then-Australian captain Steve Smith.
He was initially banned for two matches after being docked three demerit points but this was reduced to one on appeal, enabling him to complete the series but putting him on the threshold of a ban.