Smith sympathises with Colly
Graeme Smith praised the way opposing skippers Paul Collingwood and Daniel Vettori handled the run-out drama at the Brit Oval.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 26/06/08 12:55pm
South Africa captain Graeme Smith praised the way opposing skippers Paul Collingwood and Daniel Vettori handled the run-out drama in the aftermath of the one-day international at the Brit Oval.
Smith and the rest of the South Africa camp are currently at Taunton preparing for the first tour warm-up game against Somerset ahead of the four-Test series against England.
The classy left-hander believes both Collingwood and Vettori dealt with a tricky situation commendably after Kiwi all-rounder Grant Elliott was run-out following an accidental collision with Ryan Sidebottom.
Smith told Sky Sports News: "I've picked up a few highlights of it and its obviously been made quite a big deal.
"I feel for both sides in terms of what has been going on, I think both have been quite manly in terms of apologising and I think in general all of us are trying to make the spirit of cricket better and I think it's a responsibility we all have."
Asked what he would have done in that situation, Smith said: "I guess Sidebottom didn't do it on purpose and maybe that's what influenced Collingwood's decision.
"It's hard to say what I would have done in that situation, you never know in the heat of the moment when you are under that much pressure and it's a key game, but all of us are preparing ourselves everyday to play the game in the right way."
To add further insult to injury for Collingwood, the Durham all-rounder could be banned for up to four international matches after England failed to bowl their overs in the required time during Wednesday's defeat.
Smith has been punished himself for failing to get through the overs, and the Proteas skipper believes the situation should be looked at carefully before bans are dished out.
"I've been through what Collingwood is going through a couple of years back in the Caribbean and I got banned for a few games for a slow over-rate," he said.
"I think there is a difference between intentional and unintentional and I certainly think that is what match referees have to look at - it is tight these days getting through the overs."
Smith returns to England for his second tour after leading the Proteas to a 2-2 Test series draw in 2003.
The former Somerset skipper struck back-to-back double-hundreds as the tourists sailed into a 2-0 lead, and despite suffering from a hamstring injury, Smith insists he is confident of returning in time for the opening Test at Lord's on July 10.
"Yeah I've got some great memories here (Somerset), it's obviously a great place to start the tour it's nice and quiet for the team - great facilities and hopefully the three-day game will go well for us.
"I am still getting over the hamstring tear I picked up in the IPL, there is myself and Monde Zondeki are working on a few things and we'll probably miss the first game here in Taunton and hopefully be fit for Uxbridge.
"Obviously we have fantastic memories, personally my last tour back here in 2003 but I think we come here with a very different squad, there is a good blend of experience and youth.
"There is a real freshness about the team, we have an exciting bowling attack with a lot of prospects and batters that have performed well.
"We come here a far more settled side I think we have less tactically to worry about than maybe England but again England have been playing competitive cricket.
"I think people are going to love the series and for us it's fantastic to be a part of it."