Cape Town - The heated South Africa and Australia Test series is a thing of the past, but the ICC on Tuesday released the full findings of Kagiso Rabada's appeal hearing that took place halfway through the series.
Rabada had been suspended for two Test matches following a highly-scrutinised shoulder brush with Australian captain Steve Smith in Port Elizabeth that saw him given three ICC demerit points.
Rabada, with the help of Advocate Dali Mpofu, appealed the decision successfully and had his sanction reduced to one demerit point. That allowed him to play in the final two Tests against Australia.
The published findings share the judgments of Judicial Commissioner Michael Heron, who oversaw the appeal.
He described Rabada as a "frank, unassuming and honest" witness and said that he could not say with certainty that Rabada had intended to make contact with Smith.
"From a review of the footage, it is equally possible that the contact was an accident as it was deliberate," Heron determined.
The findings also reveal what the Port Elizabeth umpires, Kumar Dharmasena and Chris Gaffaney, had originally put forward to the ICC after reviewing the footage.
When hearing the opinions of the men out in the middle, it becomes clearer why Rabada was hit with such a heavy initial sanction.
"Upon seeing the footage, it was clear to me that there had been contact between Rabada and Smith and that the contact was Rabada's doing," Dharmasena had stated.
"Rabada had had plenty of time to have moved out of Smith's way and therefore avoid contact but he didn't."
Dharmasena then backtracked when cross-examined, saying he could not say that the action had been deliberate.
Gaffaney, after reviewing the footage, said he felt the contact was deliberate while even TV umpire Sundaram Ravi chipped in.
"I consider that Rabada had ample time to change his course and avoid contact with Smith, but he didn't. I also did not see any apology of any kind from Rabada to Smith," he said.
"In my view, therefore, there was inappropriate and deliberate contact on Rabada's part."