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'Don't want to take aggression out of the game' - Boucher reacts to Rabada ban
Rabada Controversy

'Don't want to take aggression out of the game' - Boucher reacts to Rabada ban

South Africa coach Mark Boucher fears ICC's disciplinary regulations could leave no room for aggression in the game after Kagiso Rabada's passionate wicket celebration in the ongoing third Test against England landed him a one-match suspension.

The Proteas speedster pleaded guilty to a level one breach of the ICC's code of conduct because of the manner of his celebration following the dismissal of England skipper Joe Root.

Rabada was fined 15 percent of his match fee and a demerit point was added to his track record, taking his tally of points to four over a 24-month period thus requiring a one-game ban.

While Boucher acknowledged Rabada's previous misdemeanours had put him in danger of a severe sanction, he still questioned the stringency of the rules in place.

"I am concerned, to be honest," said Boucher.

"You don't want to take all the aggression out of the game. You've got two countries playing against each other in a heated situation. Guys are trying really hard."

"Level one is almost like a slap on the wrist but because of the demerit points unfortunately he won't be playing in the next Test," he added.

"Sometimes the emotions overflow so the rules and regulations are a little disappointing but if you know the rules and regulations you’ve got to stick to them. KG (Rabada) knows what he can and cannot do and he may be pushed a little far."

The 24-year-old paceman's past run-ins with opposing batters have included animated send-offs to Shikhar Dhawan, Steve Smith and David Warner, all of which have not gone unnoticed by the ICC.

In the latest incident involving Root, Rabada's rip-roaring scream in the proximity of the top-order batsman was interpreted to be provocative.

'Rabada bowls at his best when he is aggressive'

Boucher admitted the absence of Rabada for the fourth and final Test at Johannesburg would be a massive blow to the home side.

South Africa currently face the prospect of falling behind 2-1 in the series and would be desperately trying to fill the huge void in their pace attack with Rabada forced to sit out.

They are pondering over seam-bowling all-rounders Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo and left-armer Beuran Hendricks as the possible replacements.

"I think KG probably bowls at his best when he is nice and aggressive so it's trying to find a balance of keeping him aggressive and not boxing him in, but also understanding the laws of the game and trying to keep him on the good side of it," Boucher said.

"It is going to be tough but it is something we are going to have to address and get a very good balance."

The former wicketkeeper-batsman also spoke on how much the game had changed since he bowed out of international cricket in 2012.

"In my day we didn't have to deal with this sort of stuff because we could say pretty much what we wanted and get away with it. It's a learning curve for me with all these new rules and regulations."

The ban imposed on Rabada has been criticised by ex-England captains Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton, who felt the match referee was too harsh in his assessment of what crossed the line.

Meanwhile, Michael Holding and Kevin Pietersen of the commentary panel agreed with the suspension and slammed Rabada for failing to tone down his emotions.