Text Title: Buoyed by Rabada’s availability, South Africa eye series lead
Author: Tristan Lavalette
Text Type: Article: http://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/101110/buoyed-by-kagiso-rabadas-availability-south-africa-eye-series-lead-south-africa-vs-australia-2018-cape-town
Date Finished: 2nd of April
Kaisgo Rabada is a budding star in the world of fast bowling, he has already played 28 Tests, 48 ODI’s, and 16 T20I’s and is only 22 years old. His passion for fast bowling and cricket is reminiscent of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson opening the bowling for Australia in the 1970’s and 80’s. But like these legendary quicks, Rabada, also has a fiery temper that has got him in trouble with the ICC. After South Africa beat Australia in Port Elizabeth with the help of Rabada’s man of the match performance where he took 11 wickets, the ICC suspended him for 2 tests for breaching the code of conduct. Rabada has successfully appealed his suspension and has now been cleared to play the rest of series.
I would recommend this text to any cricket fan especially someone who appreciates fast bowling and isn’t following Australia’s tour of South Africa. The reason I would recommend this text is that it clearly sums up what has happened to Kaisgo Rabada and his ongoing issues with the ICC code of conduct, along with what has already happened in the series and what we should expect to see in the following games. Tristan Lavalette has done a brilliant job of predicting what will happen in the next test at Newlands he not only states what the new ball will do but also backs this up with evidence and explanation on why it will happen, for example in this piece from the text he talks about Australia’s batting woes, “With the new ball expected to move notably, Australia’s susceptible batting order will once again be in the firing line in conditions they have long struggled in. No Australian batsman is averaging more than 40 in the series and no centuries have been struck to clearly illustrate their inability to kick on.” Lavalette has also included facts and milestones which many people may not know about, they are: Hashim Amla only needs 123 more runs to reach 9000 test runs making him the 3rd South African to do so, Nathan Lyon is also just shy of a milestone needing 4 more poles(wickets) to reach 400 test wickets, and that Australia is the only team to beat South Africa in Cape Town after they returned to international cricket after there 21 year ban due to apartheid from 1948 – 1991.
This text connects to me on a personal level as I am also a bowler who is passionate about cricket but even more when I bowl. Imagine this, it’s 30 degrees in the middle of January and you have been putting in hard yakka for 20 overs and you finally take the scalp of your opponent’s opener. You would be pumped up and would want to celebrate, but the code of conduct in cricket limits how you can celebrate. In recent years the game has been controlled by the batters, so when a bowler can get an edge over there opponent they deserve to celebrate, and shouldn’t be punished for showing emotion or getting up in the batters grill. The ICC doesn’t see it this way though, so when Rabada bumped into Steve Smith in the second test after dismissing him they saw it as a breach of the code. This, added to his previous offensives which resulted in him being suspended. I view this as poor by the ICC as they tolerate sledging between teams but do not allow passion and emotion from a fast bowler. Personally, I am glad they have changed their decision on this but as Lavalette put it, “There has been much uproar, especially in Australia, over the contentious decision ensuring this soap opera of a series continues to be mired in controversy.”
Historically celebrations from quick bowlers were more in your face and it was okay to give them a sendoff after taking a wicket; cricketing legends like Bob Willis, Ian Botham, Andrew Symonds, and Merv Hughes used to do this all the time and no repercussions would come from it. As the years have gone on celebrations have become more subdue and PC; some would say they have gone soft. So when Kaisgo Rabada showed some intensity in his celebration there was a huge uproar within the cricket community, as we haven’t seen something like this in years. Personally, I don’t see the problem with this, and I believe that the ICC should be focusing on other parts in the game like match-fixing and cheating as they have missed this in the past and they have caused much larger issues socially and within the sport than a bowler bumping into, or celebrating in front of a batsmen.
Has the world become too PC? That is the question that I was confronted with after reading this article, and I answer that question with a resounding yes. Peoples emotions and thoughts are being subdued all over the world just because they don’t fit the perceived norm. This is a problem that isn’t just faced in sport but across social, corporate, and political fields. No one in these sectors wants to be seen to express their real opinions for fear of getting a negative reaction.
This article has similarities to an article written by Chris Yuscavage for Complex. Yuscavage’s article is on “what is and isn’t allowed under the NFL’s celebration rules”, like the ICC, the NFL is very particular and “petty” over how their athletes can celebrate after an achievement. Like many competitors in the NFL, Rabada has been penalised for how he has shown his excitement when accomplishing a milestone or goal. After reading each article I can see parallels between the two organizations and their strictness on celebratory acts.
It is important to note that this response does contain a biased opinion. I am a bowler myself, and as a New Zealand cricket supporter, I have an extreme dislike for the Australian cricket team. This is why I view Rabada’s suspension being reversed as a good thing, whereas if I was reading this from an Australian supporters perspective I would most likely think the opposite, and want him suspended.
As of writing this, three Australian players have been found guilty of ball tampering in the third test at Newlands. Cameron Bancroft was seen on the big screen rubbing sandpaper on the ball then trying to conceal it by putting it down his pants. Steve Smith and David Warner were uncovered as the culprits who made Cameron Bancroft tamper with the ball. Smith and Warner have both received a 12-month ban from cricket, and Bancroft a 9-month ban, as it is believed that because he was the youngest in the team, the leadership group made him do it.
As stated earlier this is where the ICC needs to focus their attention, their rules say that ball tampering only results in a one-match ban; the lengthy bans that the players received came from Cricket Australia. With the recent events, it emphasises how weak the ICC are with cheating and other major offences, but are so harsh on minor things like the way a player celebrates.