South Africa's star paceman Kagiso Rabada has moved closer to a second suspension in less than a year after he was found guilty of an ICC Code of Conduct breach on Tuesday.
Rabada, who was banned for a Test against England last July, has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee and handed one demerit point for his send-off of India's Shikhar Dhawan in the fifth ODI in Port Elizabeth.
Due to his prior record, the paceman is conceivably just one Code of Conduct breach away from being suspended again for up to two Test matches, adding an intriguing sub-plot to the blockbuster Test series against Australia that starts next month.
While another breach before or during the Australian series would have to be deemed serious enough to warrant three demerit points for it to led to a suspension, the star 22-year-old was found guilty of such a breach in February last year; he and Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella were both fined and handed three demerit points after they made avoidable physical contact during an ODI in Cape Town.
Rabada then received another demerit point for his send-off of England's Ben Stokes last July, which saw him reach the lowest threshold of four demerit points and he was banned for one match.
This week's sanction means he currently has five demerit points on his record and if he reaches the threshold of eight within a 24-month period, he could be suspended for up two Test matches.
Reaching eight demerit points means a player will be suspended from either two Tests; one Test and two ODIs/T20Is; or four ODIs/T20Is, whichever comes first.
Rabada is set to play in the final ODI against India on Friday but he has been rested from the T20 series that follows in order to prepare for the four-Test series against Australia, which starts on March 1.
In a statement, the ICC said Rabada, after dismissing Dhawan in Port Elizabeth, had "waved at the departing batsman and also made a comment which could have resulted in a reaction from the batsman."
He was found guilty of breaching article 2.1.7 of the ICC's Code of Conduct, which relates to "using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batsman upon his/her dismissal".
Rabada admitted the offence and accepted the sanction.
Rabada was a key player for South Africa in their 1-2 victory over Australia last summer, claiming man-of-the-match honours in the first Test in Perth.
Qantas tour of South Africa
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
Warm-up match v SA Invitational XI, Sahara Park, Benoni, Feb 22-24
First Test Kingsmead, Durban, March 1-5
Second Test St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, March 9-13
Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26
Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3