South Africa paceman Dale Steyn yesterday played down his rift with Australia captain Michael Clarke, saying their supposed feud had been “a bit silly.”
Clarke has been ruled out of the last three matches of the one-day series against the Proteas by a hamstring injury and Steyn said he wished the Australian a swift recovery.
The row started in March when Clarke sledged Steyn when the South African and teammate Vernon Philander were batting to try, ultimately unsuccessfully, to save both the Cape Town Test and the series.
Clarke, who was fined for threatening England paceman James Anderson with a broken arm during the Brisbane Ashes Test last year, apologized in Cape Town for the sledge.
However, Steyn said after a triangular series in Zimbabwe later in the year that he would not forgive the personal slight until Clarke shook him by the hand and apologized — comments he said had been blown out of all proportion.
“It’s got nothing to do about: ‘I’ll see you in the car park and we’ll beat the crap out of each other,’” Steyn told reporters in Canberra yesterday. “Maybe I just said too much in Zim. The issue with Michael Clarke got blown out completely, it was like two schoolgirls the way the media got hold of it.”
Although Steyn said that he believed there was “a line” in sledging that should not be crossed, he was happy to put the disagreement with Clarke behind him.
“He’s a great player and I think there’s enough respect from both of us, we’ve played against each other for long enough now and it’s just kind of got blown out of the water. It’s a bit silly really in all honesty.”
With the one-day series nicely poised at 1-1 after the first two matches in Perth, the tourists face Australia in the third match at Manuka Oval today.
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