Australia spin bowler Nathan Lyon had said the team had "no dramas" with the decision, but Smith has told cricket.com.au website: "I certainly think he (Rabada) bumped me a little bit harder than it actually looked on the footage." Although Smith claimed "it didn’t bother me too much," he went on to say, "they’ve obviously decided what’s deliberate contact and what’s not and apparently it wasn’t. "The ICC have set the standard, haven't they? There was clearly contact out in the middle.
BIG NEWS: Kagiso Rabada ban for physical contact with Steven Smith OVERTURNED. He can play Cape Town Test #SAvAUS— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) March 20, 2018
"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. But the standard has been set." Rabada was initially given three demerit points for the incident in Port Elizabeth by match referee Jeff Crowe, triggering an automatic two-Test ban. But judicial commissioner Michael Heron said he was not completely satisfied that the contact was deliberate and reduced the charge to acting against the spirit of the game, imposing a one-point penalty, which took Rabada one point below the threshold for the ban.
Steve Smith has been talking about the ICC's decision to overturn Kagiso Rabada's ban, saying he was not asked for his side of the story and the bump was "harder than it looked".https://t.co/x0V9K31gtc pic.twitter.com/SNKgkIfDIf— ABC Grandstand (@abcgrandstand) March 21, 2018
He will therefore line up for South Africa as they seek the edge in a series tied at one match apiece. Smith said it was "interesting" he had not been asked for his version of events and said Crowe had reason to be annoyed about his judgement being questioned. "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."
“The key issue is whether Mr Rabada made ‘inappropriate and deliberate physical contact’ with Mr. Smith. I am not ‘comfortably satisfied’ that Mr. Rabada intended to make contact and I therefore find him not guilty of the charge under 2.2.7." - Right Honourable Michael Heron QC pic.twitter.com/aFVR3OKdmq— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) March 20, 2018