Who is Kagiso Rabada?
Kagiso Rabada is a South African cricket player. He made his limited-overs cricket (ODI) debut for South Africa in November 2014, and his Test debut in 2015. By January 2018, Rabada had made a huge impact in international cricket, as he became one of the top one day International (ODI) and Test bowlers in the world. At the age of 23, he became the youngest bowler to claim 150 wickets in Test match cricket. In August 2018, he was named the best young player in the world by ‘Wisden.’ Kagiso Rabada has won many awards, including ‘ODI Cricketer of the Year,’ ‘Test Cricketer,’ and ‘Cricketer of the Year’ at Cricket South Africa's annual dinner. In the popular Twenty20 cricket league the ‘Indian Premier League’ (IPL), he has played for ‘Delhi Daredevils’ (now ‘Delhi Capitals’).
Childhood & Early Life
Kagiso Rabada was born on May 25, 1995, in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, to Mpho and Florence Rabada. He went to ‘St Stithians Boys College,’ which is a Methodist Parochial school.
In December 2013, he was selected to play first-class cricket for Gauteng against Border in the ‘CSA Provincial One-Day Competition.’ Thanks to his incredible performances at the first-class level, he was selected to play in the 2014 ‘ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.’
Rabada picked up 14 wickets and South Africa went on to win the 2014 ‘Under-19 Cricket World Cup. His average economy rate of 3.10 helped South Africa win the prestigious tournament for the first time. He was dubbed ‘the fastest and most feared bowler’ in the tournament, thanks to his pace and accuracy.
Subsequently, Rabada became part of a professional cricket franchise called ‘The Highveld Lions.’ He then played for the ‘Lions’ in a domestic first-class cricket competition called ‘The Sunfoil Series’ where he took seven wickets in two matches.
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Domestic & IPL Career
Kagiso Rabada backed up his impressive performance at the ‘Under-19 Cricket World Cup’ by claiming a record 14 wickets for ‘Lions’ in a match against ‘The Hollywoodbets Dolphins’ in February 2015. The following year, he was signed by the English first-class county club ‘Kent County Cricket Club.’ By signing for the English club, Rabada missed an opportunity to play the 2016 season of the ‘Indian Premier League.’
During his stay in England, he played six Twenty20 (T20) matches and two ‘County Championships’ for ‘Kent County Cricket Club.’ In February 2017, Rabada was picked up by ‘IPL’ team ‘Delhi Daredevils’ at the 2017 ‘IPL Player Auction’ for INR 50 million. He was once again bought by the ‘Delhi Daredevils’ in January 2018. However, he could not compete in the 2018 ‘IPL’ season due to an injury.
In October 2018, he joined a South African franchise team called ‘Jozi Stars’ to play in the first edition of a T20 cricket tournament called ‘Mzansi Super League.’ In 2019, he played for the ‘Delhi Capitals’ in the ‘IPL.’
Kagiso Rabada made his T20 International debut on November 5, 2014, against Australia. On July 10, 2015, he made his one day International debut against Bangladesh. Rabada became only the second player to claim a hat-trick (three consecutive wickets) in an ODI debut.
On November 5, 2015, he made his Test match debut against India. Subsequently, he was selected to play against England for the 2015–16 tour. While playing the fourth Test match against England, Rabada claimed 13 wickets, becoming the youngest South African bowler to achieve a ten-wicket haul in a Test match. His performance helped his team beat England on their home turf.
During South Africa's 2017 tour of England, Rabada was involved in an argument with English player Ben Stokes after dismissing the latter on the first day of the first Test match at ‘Lord's Cricket Ground.’ Subsequently, Rabada was suspended for the second Test match as he was found guilty of using ‘inappropriate language’ during the game.
During South Africa's 2017 tour of England, Rabada took four wickets in the third ODI match, becoming the top-ranked ODI bowler in the world. He also became the youngest player after Saqlain Mushtaq (in 1998) to top the ‘ICC ODI bowler rankings.’ He became the top-ranked Test bowler in the world when he claimed five wickets during the first Test match against India in 2018.
In 2018, he took 11 wickets against the visiting Australians in the second test match. His performance helped him cross 900 points in ‘ICC Test bowler rankings,’ making him the fourth South African to achieve the feat after Shaun Pollock, Vernon Philander, and Dale Steyn.
In July 2018, he became the youngest bowler to take 150 wickets in Test cricket. He also became the third fastest South African bowler to claim 150 test wickets. In March 2019, he claimed his 100th ODI wicket while playing against Sri Lanka. In April 2019, he was selected to play for South Africa's national team in the 2019 ‘Cricket World Cup.’
Rabada has won several ‘man of the match’ and ‘man of the series’ awards for his performances. He has also won many awards at Cricket South Africa's annual dinner.
Family & Personal Life
Kagiso Rabada’s father, Mpho Rabada, is a doctor. His mother, Florence Rabada, works as a lawyer. Rabada’s family likes maintaining a low profile. He respects his family’s privacy and hence doesn’t talk much about his family members.
Rabada is active on social media platforms, such as Twitter. One of his social media posts in 2018 attracted the attention of many as he jokingly claimed that his girlfriend was not happy with his teammate Faf du Plessis’ gesture of planting a kiss on his forehead when he dismissed Indian player Hardik Pandya during India’s tour of South Africa. His post was received well by his fans and many appreciated his good sense of humor.