Article

South Africa delighted to call on ´world´s best´ Rabada

20 March 2018 14:54

South Africa head coach Ottis Gibson is thrilled that Kagiso Rabada will be available for the third Test with Australia after his suspension was lifted on appeal.

Rabada was initially ruled out for the remainder of the four-match series when he received three demerit points for making "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact" with Australia captain Steve Smith during the second Test.

However, South Africa's appeal against the sanction was successful and Rabada - who tops the ICC's Test bowling rankings and took 11 wickets in Port Elizabeth - is now available once more, having been found guilty of a lesser offence.

"The number-one bowler in the world being allowed to play is exciting for everybody concerned," Gibson told a news conference, before joking: "I don't think we need to pump him up any more.

"Obviously we are very happy that he is allowed to play and we all believe that it is the right decision.

"He's been made very much aware of his on-field celebration; I don't want to say 'behaviour' because it's not bad behaviour, he's just very excited and exhuberant sometimes. When playing against the best team in the world, that comes out.

"There has been no aggressive intent other than celebrating a wicket. We've made him aware of where he needs to be and his space away from the batsman.

"He can continue to celebrate and continue to bowl the way he has the last two weeks. He's been outstanding."

Gibson also thanked the South African public for their support for Rabada.

"People just want to see the best players playing the game," he said. "The public realise that what happened didn't merit the best bowler in the world being suspended.

"It's good to see that everybody gathered around and supported him. At the end of the day, it comes back to cricket."

Team manager Mohammed Moosajee had earlier read out a statement, saying: "The decision is great for the series and for Test cricket. [Rabada] is extremely satisfied with the ruling that has been made."

He added, when asked about the ICC Code of Conduct: "We have raised concerns in the past about the inconsistent application of the Code of Conduct."

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