Steve O'Keefe pays the price for offensive outburst

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Steve O'Keefe pays the price for offensive outburst

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SportsCafe Desk

04/07/2017

Steve O’keefe has been banned and fined from domestic limited-overs competition this year and fined $20,000 for making offensive remarks after being intoxicated at the after-party following the Steve Waugh medal presentation. He has issued an unconditional apology for his actions, though.

In the latest incident that occurred on Saturday night at the Hilton hotel in Sydney, O’keefe is believed to have made a host of offensive remarks at the award ceremony. This is O’keefe’s second such offense in less than a year after he was fined $10.00 and issued a notice of infringement by the New South Wales police following an incident in a Sydney pub in 2016 after he returned home injured from the Sri Lankan tour.

This incident means that the off-spinner now walks on an extremely tight rope for both his state and his country despite performing phenomenally well in the recently concluded Test series against India.  O’keefe said that he would undergo specialist counselling in the aftermath of the episode.

The left-arm spinner apologized for his mistake in a statement saying, "At an official Cricket NSW function I became intoxicated and made highly inappropriate comments. 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.

"I have a big challenge ahead and I am determined to meet it with actions, not just words. To all of the members of the cricket family I love and respect so much, again, apologies for letting you down."

Senior officials of the NSW were understandably livid at O’keefe’s behavior, especially since he had worked hard to have a good tour of India and was one of Australia’s best players. But now this incident has overshadowed his performance in the series. O’keefe had picked up 12 wickets in the first Test in Pune which Australia won by a huge 333 runs.

Speaking about the matter, NSW chief executive Andrew Jones said, "Stephen has not upheld the standards expected of a NSW and Australian cricketer in the aftermath of the India tour where he proudly represented his state and country. As this is his second recent offence we believe a strong penalty is appropriate. At Cricket NSW, we want all our people to achieve their potential on and off the field and Stephen needs to refocus himself on that task."

Cricket Australia performance manager, Pat Howard also condemned O’keefe’s behavior, saying, "There is no time or place for unacceptable behaviour from any of our players in Australian Cricket, and we continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to this. We're extremely disappointed this situation occurred, particularly on the back of a previous incident, and it now overshadows Stephen's on field performance on the recent tour of India."

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