PORT ELIZABETH: South African coach Mark Boucher said he was concerned about the disciplinary regulations in cricket which led to fast bowler Kagiso Rabada being handed a one-match ban due to his over-exuberant celebration during the third Test against England.

Rabada was fined and handed a demerit point as he was deemed to have been provocative as he loudly celebrated Joe Root’s dismissal on the first day of the ongoing third Test at St George’s Park.

The demerit point was the fourth he had accrued over a two-year period, hence it triggered an automatic one-match ban — which means Rabada will be absent from next week’s final contest in Johannes­burg.

“I am concerned, to be honest... you don’t want to take all the aggression out of Test cricket. You’ve got two countries playing hard cricket against each other,” Boucher said. “There are heated situations, the guys are trying really hard and sometimes their emotions overflow.”

Boucher said he was concerned the rules and regulations did not take into account the intensity of the Test arena. “I understand where there ICC are going with it and hopefully they find a balance that they don’t take the emotion out of the game because I think there is still a big part for that in the game of cricket.”

Boucher said he did not think there was anything wrong with Rabada’s celebration, during which he stormed down the wicket and bellowed at the ground under Roots nose.

“I wasn’t aware about all the demerit points and how it quite works.”

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2020