Australian Test spinner Stephen O'Keefe celebrates taking a wicket.
Australian Test spinner Stephen O'Keefe celebrates taking a wicket. PAUL MILLER

Stephen O'Keefe fined and banned from Matador Cup

STEPHEN O'Keefe will play no part in the Matador Cup later this year, with Cricket New South Wales coming down hard on the spinner for his conduct at a function run by the organisation.

On top of being fined $20,000 by Cricket Australia for making "highly inappropriate comments while under the influence of alcohol" at the function, O'Keefe will not be considered for selection by the Blues in this year's domestic one-day tournament.

This is his second offence under CA's code of behaviour in the past 18 months, hence the severity of Cricket NSW and CA's sanctions.

He was hit with a $10,000 fine by the national body in August after being issued an infringement notice by NSW police for offensive behaviour, and being an excluded person remaining in the vicinity of licensed premises.

"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," Cricket NSW CEO Andrew Jones said.

"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."

As O'Keefe accepted CA's proposed sanction, no hearing was required.

"There is no excuse for this and I take full responsibility and offer an unconditional apology," said O'Keefe, who will also undergo further counselling. "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."

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