Kerry O’Keefe clarifies himself on his controversial statements on Indian players
"The joke was on me."
Updated - Dec 30, 2018 3:19 pm
The third Test at the renowned Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) between Australia and India turned out in favour of the visitors as they won by 137 runs. Moreover, with one remaining in the series in Sydney Cricket Ground, Virat Kohli and Co took an unassailable lead of 2-1. The encounter was also a witness to a couple of controversies, surrounding commentator Kerry O’Keefe.
First, he made a gesture on Mayank Agarwal when he said his triple century in the Ranji Trophy against Maharashtra came against ‘Railways canteen staff’. Later, he mocked the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja, saying that why would anyone want to give their children such names. His comments didn’t go down well with the supporters and they severely lashed out at him.
I was being entirely tongue in cheek
Even former players in the form of Aakash Chopra slammed him. However, Bharat Arun, the Indian bowling coach, said that the Indian team won’t be launching a complaint against him. After the chaos pertaining to his comments, O’Keefe has decided to open up. He wrote an open letter to foxsports.com.au in which he said that he had no intention of ridiculing the ‘wonderful players.
“When I made a remark about Indian first-class batting averages within their domestic cricket competition being made against a “canteen” bowling attack, I was being entirely tongue in cheek. I was certainly not disrespecting Indian cricket, where I toured as a schoolboy and for which I have the greatest admiration as a cricketing nation,” the 69-year-old mentioned.
“There was no intention to ridicule those two wonderful players and I am horrified by any suggestion to the contrary. I had spent months researching and analysing these two players and when the moment arrived, I stuffed it up. The joke was on me,” Kerry, a veteran of 24 Tests and two ODIs, added.