Former South Africa off-spinner Paul Harris has hit out at the International Cricket Council (ICC) after it slapped Kagiso Rabada with a two-match Test ban, hinting the governing body of cricket is unfairly targeting the pacer and the Proteas.
The 39-year-old opined the ICC did not take appropriate action against India cricket team captain Virat Kohli despite the later "behaving like a clown" during the Asian giants' tour to South Africa earlier this year.
Rabada was banned for the last two of the ongoing four-match Test series against Australia at home after being found guilty of "deliberately making contact" with visiting captain Steve Smith in the recently-concluded second Test, which the hosts won by six wickets.
The 22-year-old headed into the Port Elizabeth Test with five ICC demerit points and earned three more when he made physical contact with Smith on Day 1.
The right-arm pacer, who came up a series-leveling 11-wicket haul in Port Elizabeth, earned an additional demerit point when he gave an aggressive send-off to Australia opener David Warner in the second innings leading to the two-match suspension.
"If he has to then everyone does. I watched Kohli behave like a clown for three tests here in SA and nothing. Seems to me that @ICC either have an issue with Rabada or with the Proteas in general," Harris wrote on Twitter.
Notably, Kohli was fined 25 percent of his match fee for showing dissent during India's second Test in South Africa in January. The Delhi batsman threw the ball into the ground after complaining to the umpires about a damp outfield following a rain delay during the third day of the Test.
Kohli had hit the first of the four centuries on the South Africa tour in the Centurion Test. However, his effort with the bat was not enough to help India avoid a 135-run defeat.
The 29-year-old was wearing his heart on his sleeves throughout the tour of South Africa. He did not hold himself back from wildly celebrating the fall of opposition wickets and his own milestones in the "Rainbow Nation".
Despite losing the Test series, the Men in Blue, under Kohli, clinched unprecedented series wins in ODIs and T20Is. The skipper had led from the front, scoring 558 runs, including three centuries, in the six-match ODI rubber.