Proteas

Philander 'blasts' Smith, claims Twitter account hacked

Vernon Philander (AP)
Vernon Philander (AP)

Cape Town - After calls for calm following days of accusations from both the Proteas and Australian camps, a tweet on Vernon Philander's Twitter account is likely to inflame tensions once again.

On Wednesday evening a tweet on Philander's social media account to his 185 000 followers hit out at the International Cricket Council’s decision to ban his team-mate Kagiso Rabada.

Rabada has been banned for the remaining two Tests of the Australia series after he was found guilty of "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player" after leaning with his shoulder into Steve Smith after dismissing the Australian skipper in the second Test in Port Elizabeth.

South Africa went on to win the Test by six wickets to level the series having lost the opener in their four-Test series.

Philander’s tweet, which was posted by several media outlets, read: "Havent really seen the fotage of this incident but by the looks of this...Steve Smith gave KG the shoulder. He could have avoided any contact but to me he is just as guilty. Trying some football skills to get a penalty??? Pity he didnt dive to top it off."

However, Philander on Thursday morning claimed that his account had been hacked, with the above tweet deleted from his page:

Meanwhile, the ICC confirmed on Wednesday that Rabada had appealed his ban.

Rabada took 11/150 during the Port Elizabeth triumph, but the Smith incident lifted his demerit points total to eight, triggering an automatic two-Test ban.

"The ICC confirms that Kagiso Rabada has appealed against the level two breach following the incident with Steve Smith during the Port Elizabeth Test.

"We will now appoint a judicial commissioner at the earliest opportunity and hearing details will be confirmed in due course," the world cricket governing body said.

The ICC must name a commissioner by this Friday and the appeal has to be heard within seven days.

Rabada will remain suspended unless the commissioner permits him to play in the third Test, which starts next Thursday at Newlands in Cape Town.

The 22-year-old South African insists his brush with Smith was accidental, saying: "If I did it deliberately, I would not have contested the charge".

Smith has said his team want Rabada to play in the remaining two Tests in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

"Kagiso is a world-class bowler and you always want to come up against the best - that is for sure," he said.

"He is right up there, playing unbelievably well."

Rabada is the fifth player to be punished by the ICC in a fiery series after Australians David Warner, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Marsh and South African Quinton de Kock.

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