Cape Town - Australia
captain Steve Smith has criticised the decision to overturn the ban
that will allow Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada to play in the third
Test at Newlands, starting on Thursday.
Rabada was banned by match referee Jeff Crowe after going over the
threshold of eight demerit points for brushing Smith’s shoulder when
dismissing the visiting skipper in the first innings of the second Test
in Port Elizabeth.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) though appealed the decision and contested
the level two charge with Michael Heron QC of New Zealand ruling in
favour of the Proteas on Tuesday.
Herron deemed that the contact between Rabada and Smith was not
'inappropriate and deliberate physical contact' with the Level 2 charge reduced to a Level 1 and the paceman free to play.
In quotes published on the Cricinfo website, Smith said about the decision:
"The ICC have set the standard, haven't they? There was clearly contact
out in the middle.
"I certainly won't be telling my bowlers to go out there and after
you take a wicket go and get in their space. I don't think that is on
and part of the game.
"I certainly think he bumped me a little bit harder than it actually looked on the footage. It didn't bother me too much.
"I guess the emotion after you get out he's won the battle. What's
the point of over-celebrating? And getting in the face of a batter,
you've already won the battle.
"But they've obviously decided what's deliberate contact and what's not, and apparently it wasn't."
The Australia skipper also found it strange that he was not called to
testify in the appeal process, especially since he was the other player
involved in the incident.
Smith continued: "The other person involved not getting asked about
it is pretty interesting, I thought. You still want to come up against
the best players. That's part of playing the game and Kagiso is No.1 in
"It was interesting the way things played out and that he was able to get the charge brought down with an appeal."
The series is currently level at 1-1 with the Newlands Test to be followed by a match at the Wanderers.