Advocate Dali Mpofu will represent South African cricketer Kagiso Rabada as he takes on the International Cricket Council (ICC) over a two-match ban, TimesLive reported.
Rabada was banned after he made shoulder contact with Australian captain Steve Smith during a match in Port Elizabeth last week. He reportedly earned three demerit points for the incident, which, combined with another five he had before the match, gave the ICC grounds to suspend him.
Speaking to TimesLive on Thursday, Mpofu confirmed he would be representing Rabada but would not be drawn on the merits of the case.
He appealed for South Africans to support Rabada, whose case will be heard on Monday.
"I do believe this is an important case for all South Africans and has implications for our shared project of nation-building," Mpofu reportedly said.
Cricketer Vernon Philander said it was Smith that brushed Rabada's shoulder, not the other way around, IOL reported.
"Havent really seen the fotage of this incident but by the looks of this...Steve Smith gave KG the shoulder. He could have avoided any contact but to me he is just as guilty. Trying some football skills to get a penalty??? Pity he didnt dive to top it off (sic)," Philander said.
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis reportedly also defended Rabada.
"If you know KG's character, he is not a guy like that. KG will probably have to get a bit smarter when he celebrates a wicket. I don't think he does anything wrong."
According to IOL, Rabada said he was "letting the team down and letting myself down", but said he "never felt contact at all" with Smith.
Sport24 reported that it will be difficult for the issue to be resolved before the team is due to play their next match in Cape Town next Thursday. The ICC reportedly had 48 hours to find a judicial commissioner to head the appeal, as Cricket South Africa's appeal was made official on Wednesday. Once a commissioner has been found, probably by Friday afternoon, the appeal must take place within seven days, Sport24 reported.
There is also no time limit in place for the judicial commissioner to make their ruling, meaning the findings could only be announced after the match has begun.