Dale Steyn says he may never forgive Michael Clarke for a sledge made by the Australian captain during the Newlands Test earlier this year.
According to Sunday’s Sydney Morning Herald, Steyn said he’s never been more deeply offended by a comment on the cricket field than by what Clarke said to him in the final session of a Test series won by Australia back in March.
Clarke claims he spoke to Steyn immediately after the match and also said sorry for overstepping the mark at a post-match press conference.
But Steyn hasn’t accepted Clarke’s remorse as genuine.
South Africa and Australia stayed at the same hotel in Harare during the One-Day Triangular, but the pair never spoke one word to each other before Clarke returned home through injury, missing Saturday’s final won convincingly by South Africa.
‘I don’t take many things personally, but what he did say to me I did take personally,’ said Steyn. ‘I know he apologised in the media and I should be playing this down.
‘But 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.’
Clarke feels he’s already adequately apologised for the incident which occurred while Steyn was batting desperately to try save the Test.
Clarke claimed before leaving Harare that he believed he had set the record straight with Steyn.
‘I would hope Dale and I have a good enough relationship. I’m pretty sure he would front me if he still had an issue with me,’ he said.
‘I think my apology at the time was well taken and respected by Dale.’
Clarke said he didn’t believe the two teams had fallen out, but also conceded Australia wouldn’t be losing any sleep if South Africa were holding grudges.
‘If no player in their team wants to talk to anybody in our team I don’t think it’s going to bother anyone,’ he said.
‘But I would like to think there’s always that play hard on the field but off the field have a beer (attitude).’
The teams did share a drink after Saturday’s ODI final, won convincingly by South Africa, and Australian coach Darren Lehmann says he wasn’t aware of an ongoing issue.