May 7, 2001

Donald plays down spat with Cuffy

South Africa fast bowler Allan Donald has played down a confrontation with one of his West Indian counterparts Cameron Cuffy during the fourth one-day international in Grenada on Sunday.

The incident took place after Donald had had Cuffy caught at the wicket by Mark Boucher to end the West Indies innings. As the players left the field Cuffy exchanged words with Boucher before Donald joined in with some force, appearing to tell the West Indian to leave the field.

Speaking to Radio 702, a Johannesburg station on Monday, Donald said that at the end of the innings, after he had retrieved his cap from the umpire, he saw Cuffy "go directly to Mark Boucher and say something to him."

Donald said that all the South Africans "stick up for each other on the field" and "we told him to get his stuff and gently get off the field".

According to Donald the exchange had "something to do with the umpires". He also said that the apparent ill-feeling between Cuffy and the South Africans "goes back to the fifth Test in Jamaica".

Donald, however, denied that there was bad blood between the South African and West Indian teams. This was in response to suggestions that the South Africans had been upset at various times during the tour by the West Indies' refusal to shake hands with their opponents.

"It's understandable that the West Indies are very upset with their performances," said Donald.

At the same time, however, Donald said that it was to be regretted that the practice of teams having a drink and a chat with their opponents seemed to be a thing of the past. "You don't go to opposition dressing rooms to have a beer," he said. "Only Brian Lara has come to our dressing room and had a chat."

South Africa won the five-match Test series 2-1 and are leading the one-day series 3-1 after four of the seven games.