Rabada will miss the match‚ which starts on Friday‚ because he was docked a fourth demerit point for telling Ben Stokes to “f*** off” after dismissing him in the first Test at Lord’s on Thursday.
The comment‚ which Rabada bellowed at the top of his lungs‚ was picked up by the stump microphones and broadcast.
Players who accumulate four demerit points within 24 months face a mandatory ban for what would be their next match.
Commentating on the BBC’s Test Match Special (TMS) before the start of the third day’s play at Lord’s‚ former South Africa captain Graeme Smith took a dim view.
“It could have been handled better‚” Smith said.
“If it wasn’t picked up by the stump mics he wouldn’t have been done.
“No-one wrote about it. No-one spoke about it. It’s ridiculous.”
In fact‚ Rabada’s comment was published in the Daily Mail on Friday‚ which would only have added to the pressure on the officials to act.
Rabada was reported by the umpires‚ Paul Reiffel‚ Sundaram Ravi‚ Simon Fry and Rob Bailey‚ and sanctioned by match referee Jeff Crowe.
Smith took aim at Crowe: “He’s been out on this pitch every morning. Where’s he hiding?”
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen vented on Twitter.
“More stars out of the game damages the game!
“I played over 100 test matches. The F-word features heavily all day‚ every day!
“Suspension is f*****g silly!”
Also on TMS‚ another former England batsman offered a contrary opinion.
“It’s like mothers with their children: there’s got to be a line somewhere‚” Geoffrey Boycott said.
“I’m sorry; [Rabada is] a lovely cricketer and I’d like to see him at Trent Bridge.
“But it’s his own fault.”
According to the ICC website‚ eight players are on the cusp of a ban on three demerit points.
Among them are Faf du Plessis — for the “mintgate” ball-tampering saga in Australia in November — and India left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.
That will add spice to the contest when Jadeja bowls to Du Plessis on India’s tour to South Africa next summer.