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Rabada handed test ban after screaming send-off for England’s Root

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 16: South Africa bowler Kagiso Rabada celebrates after bowling England batsman Joe Root during Day One of the Third Test between England and South Africa at St George's Park on January 16, 2020 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

PORT ELIZABETH, Jan 17 (Reuters) - South Africa's top bowler Kagiso Rabada has been ruled out of the last test of the four-match series against England after being given another demerit point for a robust wicket celebration on the first day of the third test at St George's Park on Thursday.

Rabada was also fined 15% of his match fee after being found guilty of a level one breach of the International Cricket Council code of conduct, the ICC said on Friday.

He has now accumulated four demerit points in a 24-month period, meaning he is suspended for South Africa’s next test, at the Wanderers in Johannesburg from Jan. 24-28.

Rabada celebrated bowling out England captain Joe Root on Thursday by running down the pitch, going down on his haunches, clenching his fists and roaring into the ground, under the nose of Root himself.

The ICC said he was guilty of “using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his or her dismissal during an international match”.

Rabada, who is fourth in the ICC’s rankings of test bowlers, admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by match referee Andy Pycroft on Thursday.

Just under two years ago, Rabada was suspended for two tests against Australia after being found guilty of “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player” after a shoulder charge on Australia captain Steve Smith in the second test.

Rabada was fined 50% of his match fee and handed three demerit points which took him to a total of eight points within a 24-month period, automatically leading to the suspension.

But this was overturned on appeal as South Africa successfully argued his brush with Smith was not deliberate.

The incident, and a similarly aggressive send off of David Warner in the same game, remained on his record however, and one point for each offence is part of the four demerits collected for the latest suspension.

Cricket South Africa have not yet indicated whether they will appeal this time.

Seven wickets for Rabada helped South Africa beat England by 107 runs in the first test in Pretoria last month.

He took five in the second test defeat in Cape Town and two on Thursday on the first day of the third test. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Hugh Lawson)

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