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'Clearly contact': Smith fires up over Rabada

'Clearly contact': Smith fires up over Rabada”

Smith said ahead of Wednesday s pre-Test press conference that a "line in the sand" had been drawn regarding physical contact and said he was surprised he had not been asked his opinion during the appeal hearing.

Kagiso Rabada of South Africa celebrates the wicket of Steven Smith during the second test.

Happily, Rabada didn't react and Marsh was fined and docked a demerit point. "I think it's really good for the game, I don't see a problem where a neutral guy sits and makes a decision and listens to both parties".

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.

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"The ICC have set the standard, haven t they?" He says here, "I'm not comfortably satisfied that Mr Rabada meant to make contact and therefore find him not guilty" but then he goes on to say: 'I considered the conduct inappropriate, lacked respect for his fellow player and involved non-deliberate and minor contact'.

Smith said he and senior Australia players Nathan Lyon and David Warner had spoken to incoming match referee Andy Pycroft, who will handle the remaining two Tests of what has been a bad-tempered series.

Smith found it "pretty interesting" he had zero input at the six-hour hearing into Rabada's send-off, during which team manager Mohammed Moosajee was among a handful of South African witnesses. "The other person involved (is) not getting asked about it is pretty interesting, I thought".

Smith also fired back at an inflammatory message posted on Vernon Philander's supposedly hacked Twitter account, in which it was suggested the batsman exaggerated contact and "gave KG the shoulder".

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Smith's comments are sure to create even more bad blood between the rivals at Newlands, where the series continues on Thursday. Rabada has been the stand-out bowler in the series so far, and it is possible that his successful appeal will be the deciding factor in the campaign.

"It's exciting, as Australian cricketers we always want to play against best and he is the No. 1 bowler in the world, so it will be a challenge for all of us that have to bat", Lyon told reporters. "He is a world class bowler, for us it is about negating the impact he has had in the first two games", Smith said. "We have two massive Test matches to come and we will have to play at our best to beat South Africa". "When you have got someone out, you have already won the battle so there is no need to go over the top", he said. "Unfortunately, I couldn't. I think that's all a load of garbage, to be honest with you".

Rabada successfully appealed against an International Cricket Council (ICC) sanction for brushing the shoulder of Australia captain Steve Smith while celebrating his dismissal in the second test, getting his punishment reduced from three demerit points to one. He's won the battle.

Smith felt for Crowe, who is among the sport's most respected officials.

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"I thought it was pretty good last game after the couple of isolated incidents in the first Test match and just to make sure cricket is still the victor".



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