Steve Smith Surprised For Not Being Called For The Hearing
By CricShots - Mar 21, 2018 10:45 am
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Austrailian skipper Steve Smith was involved in the recent incident in the second Test against South Africa which resulted in Kagiso Rabada getting banned for two Tests. That decision, however, was later overturned after an appeal. Smith believes that the overturning of decision has set a troubling standard and precedent for the game. He also suggested that Cricket Australia will reconsider their policy of not challenging charges handed out by ICC match referees in the aftermath of the incident.

Kagiso Rabada gave a harsh send-off to Steve Smith

Surprised with the outcome of the appeal, Smith questioned why he was not made part of the appeal process, considering the fact that he was the player who was brushed past by Rabada on the opening day of the second Test. Smith said, “The ICC has 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.”

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He further elaborated, “I certainly think he bumped me a little bit harder than it actually looked at the footage. It didn’t bother me too much. I guess the emotion after you get out you don’t really 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.”

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In the recent past, Australia has only challenged a sanction once – ironically for a contact between Mitchell Johnson and Ben Stokes where incidentally Jeff Crowe was the supervising official. He then dropped the charges against both players. However, Smith felt the Rabada appeal had legitimized physical contact between two players and getting away with it.

Talking about the appeal further, Steve said, “You always want your best players available to play so maybe, particularly now that we know people can get off, that’s for sure. That’s a possibility in the future. They obviously appealed this one and it looked like a pretty long process in the courtroom. But if you see guys getting off then perhaps guys will appeal a bit more in the future to try and get off certain things.”

Kagiso after dismissing Steve Smith

Smith expressed surprise at not being asked to come in for his version of events in the hearing. He also lauded Crowe for the way he’s handled the situations in a hotly contested four-match series which sits evenly poised at 1-1. “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 the world. It was interesting the way things played out and that he was able to get the charge brought down with an appeal.”

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Talking about the match referee, Smith said, “The way he handled both sides throughout the two Test matches, I thought he did a terrific job. I’d be feeling a bit annoyed if I was him, to be perfectly honest. A new match referee coming in so he wanted to have a chat with the senior players so myself, Davey [David Warner] and Nathan Lyon. I think he’s going to chat to Faf [du Plessis], AB [de Villiers] and Hashim [Amla] as well. Just to ensure that the series is continued to be played in pretty good spirit.”

The third Test in the series begins on Thursday at Newlands where incoming match referee Andy Pycroft could have his hands full.