Kagiso Rabada confronts Steve Smith after claiming his wicket.
Kagiso Rabada confronts Steve Smith after claiming his wicket.

‘I was hacked’: Philander denies smear

VERNON Philander is back on Twitter, this time claiming his account was hacked overnight after disparaging comments about Australia captain Steve Smith were posted from his profile.

Overnight the South African paceman took an extraordinary swipe at the character of Smith, as the hosts resorted to mud-slinging in their bid to get superstar quick Kagiso Rabada off suspension.

Rabada was punished for making deliberate and unnecessary contact with Smith after giving the batsman a heated send-off in the second Test in Port Elizabeth, but Philander has alleged that the Aussie skipper faked the incident - likening his actions to that of a diving soccer player.

Philander posted a video clip to twitter to try and support his argument.

Now he's claiming he was hacked:

"Good morning all my tweeps," he tweeted this morning. "Waking up this morning to a lot of twitter craziness as my acc. got hacked and someone posted a nice little article on my behalf.

"Sorry for all the drama or entertainment caused by the looks of it. Have a great day all."

The Proteas announced plans on Wednesday night to appeal the series-ending ban against Rabada in a desperate bid to have the world's No. 1 bowler cleared for the third Test in Cape Town, with the International Cricket Council confirming a Judicial Commissioner would be appointed for a hearing to take place as soon as possible.

It's unknown what defence South Africa are planning to mount, but Philander gave the appeal an explosive twist by taking to social media to blame Smith for the shoulder contact in Port Elizabeth that prompted the charges to be laid against his teammate.

Kagiso Rabada will fight his two-match suspension.
Kagiso Rabada will fight his two-match suspension.

 

Replays appear to show Smith almost trying to get out of the way before the moment of impact, but according to Philander, the Australian was the man responsible.

Philander's "original" allegation, which flies in the face of match referee Jeff Crowe's declaration of Rabada's guilt, will do nothing for the already rotten tensions between the two sides that have spilt over in the first two Tests.

Rabada remains an outside chance to gain a stunning reprieve for the third Test in Cape Town, if a Judicial Commissioner either chairs a hearing before next Thursday's Test or allows the spearhead to play until one occurs.

News Corp Australia understands the Proteas are considering dropping a bombshell and launching their legal challenge against Rabada's ban on the grounds of labour law regulations.

It's an incredible response from South Africa given two days ago they appeared resigned to Rabada's ban and admitted publicly that their strike rate for appeals with the ICC was "zero."

There is still every chance Rabada will stay sidelined for the deciding matches.

The ICC very rarely backtrack and Rabada's hopes rely on the hearing being set down before next Thursday's start of the third Test.

Kagiso Rabada confronts Steve Smith after claiming his wicket.
Kagiso Rabada confronts Steve Smith after claiming his wicket.

Rabada being cleared for the Test would be a huge boost to the series given he is the No. 1 fast bowler in world cricket.

But match referee Crowe gave a strong condemnation of Rabada's actions post-Test and the Judicial Commissioner would essentially need to rubbish the verdict of one of the ICC's most respected figures.

"I found that there was contact between Rabada and Smith, and in my judgement the contact by Rabada was inappropriate, and deliberate," said Crowe at the time the suspension was handed down.

"He had the opportunity to avoid the contact, and I could not see any evidence to support the argument that the contact was accidental.

"It is also disappointing that this has happened the day after the pre-match meeting I had with both teams, where the importance of respect for opponents was highlighted.

"I take no pleasure in seeing a player suspended, particularly a young player of Kagiso's talent, but he has now breached the ICC Code of Conduct on a number of occasions."

 

Rabada has breached several ICC codes of conduct in his young career.
Rabada has breached several ICC codes of conduct in his young career.

Bizarrely, South Africa themselves seemed resigned to any appeal being a waste of time.

"Our strike rate is zero per cent at the moment with trying to challenge these cases," said South African captain, Faf du Plessis.

"It will probably stay at zero per cent. I don't think there is a big turnover when it comes to (challenging) these things.

"For me it's just about looking at the context of the series, and it's crucial that you have the best players playing.

"For us it's about proving that what KG did … they call it body contact, we would say it is a shirt bring brushed or it was not deliberate. There's a bigger thing here - there's a series that needs to be played."

South Africa have a history of refusing to take decisions on the chin. Last time they were in Australia they tried to challenge du Plessis' mint-gate ball-tampering charge right to the death.

A bid they were unsuccessful with at every turn.



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