Steve O’Keefe, the left-arm spinner, has attracted a fine of 20,000 Australian dollars ($15,100) misbehaving at a cricket award ceremony under the influence of alcohol. O’Keefe committed the offence during the event hosted by New South Wales where he made “highly inappropriate comments.”
Unfortunately, for O’Keefe, the punishment did not end with a fine as he was also banned from playing in Australia’s domestic one-day competition next season.
This is his second alcohol-related offence in less than a year. Last August, O’Keefe was fined $7,500 for misbehaving while under the influence of alcohol at a Sydney pub. In a statement Friday, Cricket Australia said O’Keefe will also be required to undergo counselling.
In a statement issued through Cricket Australia, O’Keefe apologised for his most recent offence.
“At an official Cricket NSW function I became intoxicated and made highly inappropriate comments,” he said.
“There is no excuse for this and I take full responsibility and offer an unconditional apology. I accept the sanctions imposed by Cricket Australia and Cricket NSW and welcome the chance to receive specialist counselling.”
Talk about meeting with a disgracing low just after experiencing the greatest moment of your career.
The 32-year-old had previously quit alcohol for six months in a bid to return to the Test side. The sacrifice paid huge dividends as he earned his place in the Test side and toured India for the 4 match Test series. He had a wonderful time as he took 19 wickets, including twin hauls of 6-35 in the first Test at Pune that led Australia to secure a memorable win over the hosts.
O’ Keefe’s Test career has been filled with ups and down. After making his debut against Pakistan in Dubai during 2014 away series, he had to wait for almost one and half year to regain his place in the side. He made his comeback against West Indies on 3rd January 2016 at Sydney and took three wickets in the match only to be left out of the team yet again. He finally had his career back on a consistent path as Australia sought experience over promising talents for series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan before eventually emerging as a star against India.
However, after experiencing a fruitful six months of international cricket, O’ Keefe actions seems to be immature. Maybe he should seek inspiration from the once ‘rowdy’ David Warner on the effect of focussing on Test career over free booze on offer. It can do wonders…