Star bowler Rabada banned for rest of SA-Australia series

South Africa's Kagiso Rabada bowls on the third day of the second cricket test between South Africa and Australia at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Sunday, March 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sheehan)

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (AP) Star South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been banned for the rest of the series against Australia after being found guilty of two charges of misconduct for aggressive wicket celebrations in the second test in Port Elizabeth.

Rabada’s first offense, of intentionally bumping into Australia captain Steve Smith after dismissing him in the first innings, earned the young quick three demerit points and took him over a disciplinary threshold. That led to an automatic two-test ban.

Rabada will miss the decisive tests in Cape Town and Johannesburg having won the man-of-the-match award for his 11 wickets in South Africa’s series-leveling win in the second match in Port Elizabeth. The decision by the International Cricket Council was announced just hours after Rabada was the star of the show at St. George’s Park.

Rabada contested the first charge, claiming the contact with Smith was unintentional. He pleaded guilty to the second charge of provoking Australia batsman David Warner when he screamed in Warner’s face after dismissing him in the second innings.