Steve O’Keefe fined for alcohol-related incident

Steve O'Keefe was fined by CA for inappropriate behavior in a drunken state.

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Steve O'Keefe
Australia’s Steve O’Keeffe. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Steve O’Keefe, the Australian and New South Wales (NSW) left-arm spinner, was handed a $20,000 fine and banned from Australia’s One Day competition, Matador Cup 2017, after the spinner made “highly inappropriate comment” in an intoxicated state at Cricket NSW function last week.

O’Keefe, reportedly, has accepted the fine slapped by Cricket Australia (CA) and no official hearing was required. The Matador Cup ban was imposed by NSW. O’Keefe will undergo further counseling as he has been involved in a similar alcohol-related incident last year in August.

The last incident occurred at a hotel in the beachside suburb of Manly, where O’Keefe was fined $10,000 and also received an Infringement Notice by NSW Police for offensive behavior and being excluded person remaining in the vicinity of licensed premises. He later apologized for his actions and vowed to not repeat it again.

Another incident within 8 months of the last one; has left CA fuming. O’Keefe though offered an unconditional apology for the inappropriate behavior.

“At an official Cricket NSW function I became intoxicated and made highly inappropriate comments,” the 32-year-old 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.

“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.”

The 32-year old played a key role in Australia’s win in the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in February. The left-arm spinner picked up 12-70 – the best ever figures for a visiting bowler in India – to hand India a shock 333-run defeat. Cricket Australia, though, have a zero-tolerance policy against inappropriate behavior and were very disappointed with O’Keefe, who recently became a permanent member of the Test side.

“There is no time or place for unacceptable behavior from any of our players in Australian Cricket, and we continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to this,” said CA head of team performance Pat Howard.

“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.”

O’Keefe, who along with Nathan Lyon jointly topped the wickets charts with 19 wickets each, must need to avoid such situations. His career is on the rise at the moment and such incidents will only ruin the hard work done on the cricket field.

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