West Indies v South Africa, 3rd Test, Barbados, 4th day June 30, 2010

Steyn, Gayle play down mid-pitch hostilities

Cricinfo staff
16

Man of the Series Dale Steyn and West Indies captain Chris Gayle played down the mid-pitch hostilities that threatened to go out of hand during the course of the third Test between West Indies and South Africa. South Africa won the Test and with it the series 2-0, but the cricketing action took a back seat as two ugly incidents marred the proceedings on the third and fourth days in Barbados.

Steyn was at the centre of the first flare-up, as he appeared to spit in the direction of Sulieman Benn who got close to and laughed at Steyn when he was dismissed. The second run-in involved Kemar Roach who repeatedly went up to Jacques Kallis after hitting him with a bouncer and exchanged words. The stand-off threatened to escalate and required the intervention of the umpires and West Indies fielders to come under control. So far, match referee Jeff Crowe has not come out with punishments for the players involved.

Steyn attributed the tension to the high stakes involved for both teams at the end of a long tour. "Everybody seemed to swell up in the heat of the moment," Steyn told AFP. "We have been away from home for a long time, five months, and this was the last game. West Indies knew that they needed to win the game to level the series, and we knew we needed to win this game to win the series, so things are going to happen. That's just part of the game."

Gayle abstained from passing judgment on the incidents and said it was for the referee to handle. "If anything needs to be dealt with I am sure the match referee and the on-field umpires will actually take that into play," Gayle said.

"The spirit and sportsmanship was good leading up to this match. It's just unfortunate in the end, where we had a bit of a boil up. It is cricket and you have to be hostile sometimes. If you can give it out, then you should take it. That's how I look at it," he said.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Silva-Surfa on July 5, 2010, 10:51 GMT

    An interesting debate fellow bloggers. Always a delicate subject when racial issues are involved. It's niave to say that white South Africans can't be racist because apartheid ended when they were children. Whether Steyn is that way inclined, i couldn't honestly tell you, but let's be honest, in the heat of a volitile situation, tempers are lost and the worst side of our human instincts come out to play, nature of the beast i'm afraid. Big-Benn has a reputation for provoking opposition players and as long as it doesn't cross the line, it's all part and parcel. If that line is crossed, then you'd hope that the Umpires and Match Referees will punish those involved accordingly. Justice doesn't always prevail, but such is the Political bias that we live in. We've all fallen foul from competitive stress, in the same way as road rage. Some of the nicest people i know turn into the most immature and ill-tempered idiots, during a heated exchange, under competitive circumstances.

  • ragamuffintuffy on July 4, 2010, 23:06 GMT

    Hazeltine is on target. Bang-on! as we used to say on Leg 1 island, Essequibo County/River/Islands...What steyn did was demeaning n despicable. Luckily, he wasnt cuffed off the ground.

  • Metman on July 4, 2010, 17:36 GMT

    I totally agree with you Alan Alleyne.This Garethjohndry is telling himself that because Apartheid ended sometime ago ,that all is well and the vast majority of South Africans have been able to move on.Garethjohndry,although Aparatheid has OFFICIALLY ended ,the vast majority of white South Africans still believe in it,and YOU KNOW THAT,some of them still practise it,although it is against the law NOW!and YOU KNOW THAT!In South Afrca in the year 2010, the vast majority of whites if not all, still feel that whites are superior to blacks,and YOU KNOW THAT!It is the vast majority of blacks who NOW have a chance to move on,and the vast majority of whites HATE THAT!and YOU KNOW THAT!Kemar Roach is young and friendly,too friendly ,and I can only imagine how far he must have been pushed by Kallis,to have reacted in such a way to have been fined.In SA rugby,blacks have to be considered and included,it is now the LAW! and .as far as I know,football is mainly a black sport.

  • hazeltine on July 4, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    First of all, I am SICK TO DEATH of being told as a black man that black people " have a chip on their shoulder" when they openly discuss racist attitudes. The fact is that Steyn openly spat near a WIndian player and that can be construed by black people as showing scant respect towards them, it is as simple as that and even though he was very young when Apatheid ended, it is thoroughly stupid to say that Steyn would not have practised it. Though this is an inept WIndies side, they should be given credit by WIndian supporters for standing up to the boorish sledging of South Africans, Mr Kallis and Mr Steyn, IF YOU CAN'T TAKE IT, DON'T DISH IT OUT!

  • Metman on July 2, 2010, 20:43 GMT

    Hey! Mr.Kallis,think Kemar Roach is fiery?Just wait until we tour SA again for the tests .Here in Barbados we have another 2 that are faster and rearing to go!WAIT AND SEE! or do you plan to retire by then?@SurlyCynic,I dont understand your statement about Stein being kept out of the attack when Benn was batting!Didnt this incident happened in the 4th innings?@PienkZuit,besause Stein was 10 when apartheid OFFICALLY ended,doesnt mean he and others dont believe in and practise apartheid,big man!People in 2010 still believe in and practise apartheid all over the WORLD ,even in SA cricket .

  • Garethjohndry12 on July 2, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    Alan Alleyne, please go back to the dark ages where you obviously come from. The vast majority of South Africans, black and white, have been able to move on from the dark days of apartheid as the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and now the Football World Cup must have shown all relatively intelligent people. The decision of the match referee has nothing to do with black or white. Benn is a proven trouble maker, and I can only imagine how far Dale must have been pushed to have reacted in that fashion - so far out of character for him. It was inexcusable, he has been fined, now lets move on. Perhaps one day you will grow up, study your history, and actually move away from race. Somehow I doubt that. Pull your head out, mate, and join the Rainbow Nation!

  • MojoRSA on July 2, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    Mr. Alleyne, please refrain from posting ridiculous comments on topics that you clearly know NOTHING about i.e. apartheid!!! Absurd that you would even mention that!

  • duncanmoo on July 1, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    C'mon Allan Alleyne just take a look at who got fined what to see who was punished for their actions before you start saying black this and white that. Steyn was fined 100% of his match fee for being downright rude, Benn was fined nothing for goading him (which is part of the game). But in my view both of them overstepped the mark. SAfrican cricket has always had a strong relationship and affinity for WIndies, the guys we hate are the Aussies and the English (BTW).

  • on July 1, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    It's highly unlikely Dale Steyn participated in apartheid. He was 11 when it ended. Also the actions speak for themselves. Steyn was docked 100% of his match fee. Roach was docked 50%. You'll also find a lot of players that can "give it" but not "take it". And that includes most of the current West Indies line up.

  • PienkZuit on July 1, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    @Alan Alleyne : Dale Steyn was 10 years old when Apartheid anded with the first democratic elections in South Africa. Saying he "believed in" and "practised" Apartheid is more than a little absurd. That's like saying all English believed in and took part in killing more than 26 000 women and children in concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer war. Or that all German people are Nazis.

    Yes, the situation on the field got out of hand. Yes, video shows Steyn spitting while leaving. Unacceptable, even if just for being bad manners. But if you are objective, he might have just been relieving himself of saliva at an ill judged moment; impossible to know the motivation behind it. Jumping to conclusions about his motivation, especially such an emotionally charged conclusion, is not warranted.

  • Silva-Surfa on July 5, 2010, 10:51 GMT

    An interesting debate fellow bloggers. Always a delicate subject when racial issues are involved. It's niave to say that white South Africans can't be racist because apartheid ended when they were children. Whether Steyn is that way inclined, i couldn't honestly tell you, but let's be honest, in the heat of a volitile situation, tempers are lost and the worst side of our human instincts come out to play, nature of the beast i'm afraid. Big-Benn has a reputation for provoking opposition players and as long as it doesn't cross the line, it's all part and parcel. If that line is crossed, then you'd hope that the Umpires and Match Referees will punish those involved accordingly. Justice doesn't always prevail, but such is the Political bias that we live in. We've all fallen foul from competitive stress, in the same way as road rage. Some of the nicest people i know turn into the most immature and ill-tempered idiots, during a heated exchange, under competitive circumstances.

  • ragamuffintuffy on July 4, 2010, 23:06 GMT

    Hazeltine is on target. Bang-on! as we used to say on Leg 1 island, Essequibo County/River/Islands...What steyn did was demeaning n despicable. Luckily, he wasnt cuffed off the ground.

  • Metman on July 4, 2010, 17:36 GMT

    I totally agree with you Alan Alleyne.This Garethjohndry is telling himself that because Apartheid ended sometime ago ,that all is well and the vast majority of South Africans have been able to move on.Garethjohndry,although Aparatheid has OFFICIALLY ended ,the vast majority of white South Africans still believe in it,and YOU KNOW THAT,some of them still practise it,although it is against the law NOW!and YOU KNOW THAT!In South Afrca in the year 2010, the vast majority of whites if not all, still feel that whites are superior to blacks,and YOU KNOW THAT!It is the vast majority of blacks who NOW have a chance to move on,and the vast majority of whites HATE THAT!and YOU KNOW THAT!Kemar Roach is young and friendly,too friendly ,and I can only imagine how far he must have been pushed by Kallis,to have reacted in such a way to have been fined.In SA rugby,blacks have to be considered and included,it is now the LAW! and .as far as I know,football is mainly a black sport.

  • hazeltine on July 4, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    First of all, I am SICK TO DEATH of being told as a black man that black people " have a chip on their shoulder" when they openly discuss racist attitudes. The fact is that Steyn openly spat near a WIndian player and that can be construed by black people as showing scant respect towards them, it is as simple as that and even though he was very young when Apatheid ended, it is thoroughly stupid to say that Steyn would not have practised it. Though this is an inept WIndies side, they should be given credit by WIndian supporters for standing up to the boorish sledging of South Africans, Mr Kallis and Mr Steyn, IF YOU CAN'T TAKE IT, DON'T DISH IT OUT!

  • Metman on July 2, 2010, 20:43 GMT

    Hey! Mr.Kallis,think Kemar Roach is fiery?Just wait until we tour SA again for the tests .Here in Barbados we have another 2 that are faster and rearing to go!WAIT AND SEE! or do you plan to retire by then?@SurlyCynic,I dont understand your statement about Stein being kept out of the attack when Benn was batting!Didnt this incident happened in the 4th innings?@PienkZuit,besause Stein was 10 when apartheid OFFICALLY ended,doesnt mean he and others dont believe in and practise apartheid,big man!People in 2010 still believe in and practise apartheid all over the WORLD ,even in SA cricket .

  • Garethjohndry12 on July 2, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    Alan Alleyne, please go back to the dark ages where you obviously come from. The vast majority of South Africans, black and white, have been able to move on from the dark days of apartheid as the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and now the Football World Cup must have shown all relatively intelligent people. The decision of the match referee has nothing to do with black or white. Benn is a proven trouble maker, and I can only imagine how far Dale must have been pushed to have reacted in that fashion - so far out of character for him. It was inexcusable, he has been fined, now lets move on. Perhaps one day you will grow up, study your history, and actually move away from race. Somehow I doubt that. Pull your head out, mate, and join the Rainbow Nation!

  • MojoRSA on July 2, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    Mr. Alleyne, please refrain from posting ridiculous comments on topics that you clearly know NOTHING about i.e. apartheid!!! Absurd that you would even mention that!

  • duncanmoo on July 1, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    C'mon Allan Alleyne just take a look at who got fined what to see who was punished for their actions before you start saying black this and white that. Steyn was fined 100% of his match fee for being downright rude, Benn was fined nothing for goading him (which is part of the game). But in my view both of them overstepped the mark. SAfrican cricket has always had a strong relationship and affinity for WIndies, the guys we hate are the Aussies and the English (BTW).

  • on July 1, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    It's highly unlikely Dale Steyn participated in apartheid. He was 11 when it ended. Also the actions speak for themselves. Steyn was docked 100% of his match fee. Roach was docked 50%. You'll also find a lot of players that can "give it" but not "take it". And that includes most of the current West Indies line up.

  • PienkZuit on July 1, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    @Alan Alleyne : Dale Steyn was 10 years old when Apartheid anded with the first democratic elections in South Africa. Saying he "believed in" and "practised" Apartheid is more than a little absurd. That's like saying all English believed in and took part in killing more than 26 000 women and children in concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer war. Or that all German people are Nazis.

    Yes, the situation on the field got out of hand. Yes, video shows Steyn spitting while leaving. Unacceptable, even if just for being bad manners. But if you are objective, he might have just been relieving himself of saliva at an ill judged moment; impossible to know the motivation behind it. Jumping to conclusions about his motivation, especially such an emotionally charged conclusion, is not warranted.

  • Blythesville on July 1, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    The fact that no decision has been made to this point is highly troubling. In the last Aus-WI series, the match referees were quick to chastise the Windies players with hefty fines and simply call out the Aussies for poor behaviour and being "passionate." Raw footage clearly showed Steyn spitting at Benn. This is extremely poor behaviour and Steyn should be leveled the largest possible fine for this breach of conduct. While the scores may not show it, this was a hard fought match with the South Africans being the purveyors of poor sportsmanship throughout.The ICC has upheld a double standard on fines with the Windies constantly being receiving disproportionately higher fines for similar offences. And it appears that match officials will continue this trend. I am prepared for a perverse decision in favour of South Africa.

  • 123maaz on July 1, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    This is what i call is a biased attitude.this people they have dont all ugly sort of things and they were just away from give a blow to each other and still match refree havent seen or taken action on this.ICC wht u people are doing this wht ur guide lines are for playing cricket.Suppose if there is any asian team involved u people have awarded some harsh punishments to them u must have deducted match fee and god know wht other things u would have done.Its just pity to see the standard of matches between westindies and southafrica and offcourse the standard of Mr refreee and umpimres u was officiating this match.

  • on July 1, 2010, 3:37 GMT

    Why is the media using the expression " he appeared to spit in the direction of Sulieman Benn" when we had the raw unedited video with the saliva leaving his mouth and heading towards Benn? This world is amazing, I know that if it was a West Indian who was guilty of the same offence, the media would have said" he clearly spat at". And it's because of this double standard in the media and the officiating of games that I have lost all confidence. When Serena Williams, cursed an official the media blasted her conduct. But here when a White Man, a South African White Man, who we all know believed in and practiced apartheid does the most insulting act to another player, the media plays it down! So I ask you, is the World Wide Media Racist? So now we sit and wait to see what the ICC will do, what the match referee will do.

  • REALQUICKPACELIKEFIRE on June 30, 2010, 21:08 GMT

    If you can't take it...don't give it! Mr.Kallis, damn fine player though he is, clearly can't "take it"...but seemed to enjoy dishing out the short stuff to the Windies. Well, in a couple of years time when WI next tour S.A. it will be interesting to see (providing the guys are fit!) how Mr.Kallis plays Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor and Fidel Edwards to name but three who could make that trip. Fast bowlers tend to have good memories...I hope that the West Indian quicks remember this series. Not just those that played but Fidel and Jerome too, I can't wait to see the three of them firing on all cylinders together. Please can the regional groundsmen prepare lively tracks and we can see how touring sides like it when 3 REAL QUICK bowlers are peppering their batsmen. THAT is how the game should be played by the Windies. Not medium pacers and defensive fields. Improve the fitness of the fast bowlers and improve the slip cordon and keeper's catching and the Windies will look a different team.

  • sweetie on June 30, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    it would be interesting to see if these players get any substantial punishments. If it would have been any subcontinental team, 1 match ban would have been normal.

  • SurlyCynic on June 30, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    It was interesting that Smith kept Steyn out of the attack when Benn was batting... that could have been fiery! Probably the best thing for the game, the adrenaline was pumping out there but no need for lasting feuds or scandals.

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  • SurlyCynic on June 30, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    It was interesting that Smith kept Steyn out of the attack when Benn was batting... that could have been fiery! Probably the best thing for the game, the adrenaline was pumping out there but no need for lasting feuds or scandals.

  • sweetie on June 30, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    it would be interesting to see if these players get any substantial punishments. If it would have been any subcontinental team, 1 match ban would have been normal.

  • REALQUICKPACELIKEFIRE on June 30, 2010, 21:08 GMT

    If you can't take it...don't give it! Mr.Kallis, damn fine player though he is, clearly can't "take it"...but seemed to enjoy dishing out the short stuff to the Windies. Well, in a couple of years time when WI next tour S.A. it will be interesting to see (providing the guys are fit!) how Mr.Kallis plays Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor and Fidel Edwards to name but three who could make that trip. Fast bowlers tend to have good memories...I hope that the West Indian quicks remember this series. Not just those that played but Fidel and Jerome too, I can't wait to see the three of them firing on all cylinders together. Please can the regional groundsmen prepare lively tracks and we can see how touring sides like it when 3 REAL QUICK bowlers are peppering their batsmen. THAT is how the game should be played by the Windies. Not medium pacers and defensive fields. Improve the fitness of the fast bowlers and improve the slip cordon and keeper's catching and the Windies will look a different team.

  • on July 1, 2010, 3:37 GMT

    Why is the media using the expression " he appeared to spit in the direction of Sulieman Benn" when we had the raw unedited video with the saliva leaving his mouth and heading towards Benn? This world is amazing, I know that if it was a West Indian who was guilty of the same offence, the media would have said" he clearly spat at". And it's because of this double standard in the media and the officiating of games that I have lost all confidence. When Serena Williams, cursed an official the media blasted her conduct. But here when a White Man, a South African White Man, who we all know believed in and practiced apartheid does the most insulting act to another player, the media plays it down! So I ask you, is the World Wide Media Racist? So now we sit and wait to see what the ICC will do, what the match referee will do.

  • 123maaz on July 1, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    This is what i call is a biased attitude.this people they have dont all ugly sort of things and they were just away from give a blow to each other and still match refree havent seen or taken action on this.ICC wht u people are doing this wht ur guide lines are for playing cricket.Suppose if there is any asian team involved u people have awarded some harsh punishments to them u must have deducted match fee and god know wht other things u would have done.Its just pity to see the standard of matches between westindies and southafrica and offcourse the standard of Mr refreee and umpimres u was officiating this match.

  • Blythesville on July 1, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    The fact that no decision has been made to this point is highly troubling. In the last Aus-WI series, the match referees were quick to chastise the Windies players with hefty fines and simply call out the Aussies for poor behaviour and being "passionate." Raw footage clearly showed Steyn spitting at Benn. This is extremely poor behaviour and Steyn should be leveled the largest possible fine for this breach of conduct. While the scores may not show it, this was a hard fought match with the South Africans being the purveyors of poor sportsmanship throughout.The ICC has upheld a double standard on fines with the Windies constantly being receiving disproportionately higher fines for similar offences. And it appears that match officials will continue this trend. I am prepared for a perverse decision in favour of South Africa.

  • PienkZuit on July 1, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    @Alan Alleyne : Dale Steyn was 10 years old when Apartheid anded with the first democratic elections in South Africa. Saying he "believed in" and "practised" Apartheid is more than a little absurd. That's like saying all English believed in and took part in killing more than 26 000 women and children in concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer war. Or that all German people are Nazis.

    Yes, the situation on the field got out of hand. Yes, video shows Steyn spitting while leaving. Unacceptable, even if just for being bad manners. But if you are objective, he might have just been relieving himself of saliva at an ill judged moment; impossible to know the motivation behind it. Jumping to conclusions about his motivation, especially such an emotionally charged conclusion, is not warranted.

  • on July 1, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    It's highly unlikely Dale Steyn participated in apartheid. He was 11 when it ended. Also the actions speak for themselves. Steyn was docked 100% of his match fee. Roach was docked 50%. You'll also find a lot of players that can "give it" but not "take it". And that includes most of the current West Indies line up.

  • duncanmoo on July 1, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    C'mon Allan Alleyne just take a look at who got fined what to see who was punished for their actions before you start saying black this and white that. Steyn was fined 100% of his match fee for being downright rude, Benn was fined nothing for goading him (which is part of the game). But in my view both of them overstepped the mark. SAfrican cricket has always had a strong relationship and affinity for WIndies, the guys we hate are the Aussies and the English (BTW).

  • MojoRSA on July 2, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    Mr. Alleyne, please refrain from posting ridiculous comments on topics that you clearly know NOTHING about i.e. apartheid!!! Absurd that you would even mention that!