Kerry O'Keefe apologises to Mayank Agarwal for disrespectful comment

Kerry O’Keefe apologises to Mayank Agarwal for disrespectful comment

O'Keefe, meanwhile, insisted that he did not demean India's first-class competition's standard as he issued his apology.

Mayank Agarwal of India
Mayank Agarwal. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Even before the ongoing third Test between India and Australia started, former Australia cricketer Kerry O’Keefe caused a storm with his comment for debutant Mayank Agarwal. The right-handed batsman was in sensational form with the bat in the last season of the Ranji Trophy. He had amassed 1160 runs in 13 innings of the premier first-class competition in India.

One of the highlights of the season was his unbeaten knock of 304 against Maharashtra. Agarwal’s first triple century came off 494 balls and was studded with 28 fours and four sixes. But his run-scoring spree must have not gone well with O’Keefe as he ridicules Agarwal’s triple century in the Indian domestic tournament.

The cricketer-turned-commentator, who played 24 Tests and two ODIs for Australia between 1971 and 1977, reportedly said that the 27-year-old “apparently got his triple hundred against railway canteen staff”. He also added the bowlers from the said team were “chefs and waiters”. He was accompanied by former Australia cricketers, Shane Warne, and Mark Waugh in the commentary box.

Not only that reports also suggest that Waugh also took a jibe at Agarwal’s run-scoring too. The former Australia batsman said that the right-hander’s first-class average of 50 (49.98) can be equated to 40 in Australia.

O’Keefe apologises

Not surprisingly, O’Keefe faced the wrath of Indian fans for his disrespectful comment. And the criticism only elevated after Agarwal went on to score a memorable fifty on his debut. The newcomer showed remarkable maturity to deal with the hostile Australian pacers to lay the foundation for a good total. He scored 76 before gloving a Pat Cummins delivery to Tim Paine behind the wickets.

O’Keefe, meanwhile, insisted that he did not demean India’s first-class competition’s standard as he issued his apology.

“I was mentioning the runs Agarwal got in first-class cricket in India and there’s been a reaction. There was no way I was demeaning the standard, it was tongue in cheek. There are lots of runs scored so apologies if anyone out there took offence,” he said on air.

Meanwhile, India finished day one on 215 for 2 with Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli unbeaten at the crease.

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