Australian and NSW Blues spinner Stephen O’Keefe has been sanctioned by Cricket Australia for a Level 2 offence under Cricket Australia’s Code of Conduct, after being involved in an incident at a Cricket NSW function where he made highly inappropriate comments whilst under the influence of alcohol.
O’Keefe was charged with a breach of Article 2.2.11 of the Code - conduct unbecoming of a representative. As this is O’Keefe’s second offence under the Cricket Australia Code of Conduct, within the last 18 months, a fine of $20,000 was proposed and accepted. O’Keefe will also undergo further appropriate counselling. Given he accepted the proposed sanction and charge, no hearing was required.
Cricket NSW has also elected to impose a further sanction which will see O’Keefe excluded from consideration for selection by NSW for the 2017 One-Day Domestic tournament.
Cricket NSW CEO, 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 Executive General Manager, Team Performance, Pat Howard said:
“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,” said 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.
Speaking on the sanction O’Keefe said:
"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.”