I still haven’t forgiven Clarke for his personal sledge, reveals Dale Steyn

"I don't take many things personally, but what he did say to me I did take personally"

“I don’t take many things personally, but what he did say to me I did take personally”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

South Africa pace maestro Dale Steyn has revealed that he still hasn’t forgiven Australia captain Michael Clarke for his alleged personal sledge during the third Test in Cape Town in March this year.

Clarke publicly apologised to Steyn following the incident, but Steyn feels as if the issue still hasn’t been resolved.

“I haven’t really spoken to him [Clarke] much since then to be honest,” Steyn said. “I don’t take many things personally, but what he did say to me I did take personally.

“I know he apologised in the media and I should be playing this down.┬áBut the day he comes and shakes my hand and says, ‘I really mean what I said,’ and behaves like the way he should, maybe then I will (forgive him). But for right now, he’s not here so I’ll wait until I get to Australia.”

The incident started when Steyn and Australia pace bowler James Pattinson got involved in a heated dispute. However, things quickly escalated when Clarke intervened and tried to defend Pattinson.

“I would hope Dale and I have a good enough relationship,” Clarke said during┬áthe recently concluded ODI tri-series. “‘I’m pretty sure he would front me if he still had an issue with me.

“I think my apology at the time was well taken and respected by Dale.”

Clarke, who returned home midway through the tri-series with a hamstring injury, added that he doesn’t believe there is any bad blood between both teams.

“If they feel like that about certain Australian players that’s up to them to sort out,” Clarke said. “I think we play so much cricket together these days, especially with the IPL, I think the relationship in my opinion is very good. We see each other consistently through the hotel and from my perspective, unless they’re talking about a player that’s not in our current group or players who aren’t in their current group, from my perspective everyone has been really good.

“If not one player in their team wants to talk to anybody in our team, I don’t think it’s going to bother anyone. But I think in cricket it’s a lot bigger than two teams going their separate ways.

“I think the only issue that I’ve seen in that South African series was what I said to Dale Steyn during that game and I went and saw him straight after the game. I enjoy having a beer with him so again maybe I’ve missed something. Maybe there’s stuff I don’t know about, I’m not really sure.

“But if he [de Villiers] is talking about my incident with Steyn then from my perspective I would hope that Dale and I have a good enough relationship. I’m pretty sure he would front me if he still had an issue with me and I think my apology at the time was well taken and respected from Dale, so he could be talking about other players but I don’t really know.”

Steyn and Clarke are now likely to square off against each other when South Africa tour Australia for a limited overs series in November.

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