Ahead of the third Test in Cape Town, Australian skipper Steven Smith has spoken to the media. Well, regarding the overturn of Kagiso Rabada’s ban, the prolific batsman questioned the celebration of a bowler.
While talking to the journalists at Newlands, Smith admitted the fact by saying the 22-year-old Rabada championed the battle.
“What’s the point of over-celebrating? And getting in the face of a batter, you’ve already won the battle,” Smith told media in Cape Town.
The 28-year-old Smith revealed the impact was enough then what appeared on the footage.
“I certainly think he (Rabada) bumped me a little bit harder than it actually looked on the footage,” Smith added.
On March 20, the Judicial Commissioner Michael Heron has given out the verdict in favour of the lanky fast bowler.
Earlier, the match referee Jeff Crowe has handed over a two-Test suspension.
“But they’ve obviously decided what’s deliberate contact and what’s not and apparently it wasn’t,” Smith stated.
Owing to the decision, Heron already maintained that he did not found enough evidence to upheld the ban following Rabada’s appeal.
With regards to the physical contact on the ground, match referee Crowe fined 25 percent match fee. It further included a solitary demerit point.
While citing the ICC’s Code of Conduct, Smith hinted more could be done to play according to the spirit of the game.
“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,” Smith said.
The right-arm speedster Rabada was on the threshold of eight demerit points to receive the automatic two-Test ban.
Considering it as a ‘line in the sand’ Smith further addressed it didn’t worry him too much.
“It didn’t bother me too much. I guess the emotion after you get out you don’t really …. He’s won the battle,” Smith remarked.
In the last week, during a six-hour teleconference hearing, Heron quizzed Rabada. The bowler was available for the inquiry alongside his legal advisor Dali Mpofu, team manager Mohammed Moosajee and skipper Faf du Plessis.
The incident happened on day one of the Port Elizabeth Test when Rabada brushed his shoulder with Smith before drawing the ire. It has taken Smith by surprise for being not called for a hearing.
“It’s pretty interesting when you’re, I guess, looking for evidence and those kind of things,” Steven Smith added.
However, Rabada has bowled with full throttle in nets soon after his ban got lifted. He will take the field in the penultimate Test on March 22 after his charges were downgraded to level 1 offence.
“I found that there was contact between Rabada and Smith, and in my judgement, the contact by Rabada was inappropriate, and deliberate,” Crowe said at the time of incident in Port Elizabeth.
With four-match Test series tied at one-each, it would be interesting how Smith and Rabada will face off in the remainder of the series. The right-handed batsman has lavished praised on Crowe for handling the breaches well.
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