Bengaluru: The International Cricket Council (ICC) recently handed a one-Test ban to South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada for his send-off to England captain Joe Root during the third Test in Port Elizabeth.

Several former cricketers have slammed the ICC for the punishment handed to the right-arm fast bowler. Now, former Australian batsman Matthew Hayden too has questioned the decision by the sport’s governing body.

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The 48-year-old Hayden, who was in Bengaluru as part of the Star Sports TV commentary team for the India-Australia ODI series, spoke exclusively to MyNation and said Test math atmosphere should not become a “sterile environment”.

“I think, generally speaking, (Kagiso) Rabada is going to be one of the great Test match bowlers for South Africa,” Hayden told MyNation on Sunday (January 19) during the third OD between India and Australia at Bengaluru’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

“I did not see the incident. I can't really comment. I don't think that we want to make the Test arena such a sterile environment that someone can't be gushing about getting a wicket, on what I might believe was an absolute road (lifeless pitch) as well. To me, those frustrations are going to come out. Unless it has hurt someone, why are you going to ban him? I don't think the punishment was right,” Hayden, who played 103 Tests, 161 ODIs and nine T20Is, said.

The 24-year-old Rabada was fined 15% of his match fee and also received one demerit point after being found guilty of a Level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, ICC said in a statement.

It added, the South African bowler was found to have violated Article 2.5 of the code, which relates to “using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his or her dismissal during an international match”.

Rabada, who has played 42 Tests for South Africa, was suspended as he has accumulated four demerit points in a period of 24 months. He will miss the Johannesburg Test against England, starting on January 24.