Former NSW and Australian leg-spinner Kerry O’Keeffe and long-serving former Cricket NSW Director Greg Monaghan have been inducted as Cricket NSW Life Members.
The life memberships of both men were formalised on Monday night at the Cricket NSW annual meeting.
Cricket NSW Chief Executive Andrew Jones praised the significant contributions made by O’Keeffe and Monaghan.
“Kerry and Greg have much to be proud of during a life time of service to the game,” Jones said.
O’Keeffe played 24 Tests among 169 first class matches during his 14-year professional career.
This included 65 matches for NSW as the 546th player to don the Baggy Blue cap. O’Keeffe also captained NSW during 1975-76.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be granted Life Membership of Cricket NSW,” O’Keeffe said.
“Each time I walked onto a first-class cricket field as a NSW player, I was conscious of the iconic state I was representing.
“I would often sit in the home dressing room at the Sydney Cricket Ground with a baggy blue cap on my head and reflect on the many past greats to have worn that same cap, Bradman, O’Reilly, Davidson, Benaud, Simpson.”
O’Keefe was part of the Australian World Series Cricket squad between 1977 and 1979 and became an accomplished coach who mentored players at all levels.
He worked in the NSW pathway for many years as a specialist spin bowling coach and has been used by coaches at Cricket Australia’s National Cricket Centre.
A wildly popular commentator, he is also an author, having published five books on cricket.
“I was a proud “Blue Bagger” as a player and almost 40 years later as a coach and broadcaster, I remain just as proud. Again, thank you very much for this humbling award,” O’Keeffe said.
O’Keeffe was awarded Life Membership of St. George District Cricket Club in 1993.
Jones described O’Keeffe as a proud NSW and Australian Cricketer during a tumultuous time in Australian cricket.
“O’Keeffe has been an astute observer as a coach and commentator, and, has brought pleasure to millions as one of the greatest entertainers in the game, on both radio and TV,” Jones said.
Greg Monaghan has served cricket in Western Sydney with distinction for many decades, as a player, umpire and club official, specifically the Parramatta District Cricket Club, previously known as Central Cumberland.
He also served on the Cricket NSW Board for nine years during a period of tremendous growth for the game, before retiring in 2017.
“It has been a great privilege to have had the opportunity to serve the cricket community of NSW and most humbling to have my service recognised in this extraordinary way,” Monaghan said.
“Cricket has expanded rapidly over the last decade and it has been very exciting to play a small part in this watershed period in the evolution of our great game.”
Monaghan played Grade cricket for a dozen years with Central Cumberland, and later Penrith, before continuing as a suburban player and coach with Kings Langley.
He coached and managed Parramatta Junior Shield teams for six years. He was President for five years and was appointed a Life Member.
Monaghan also obtained an Umpires ticket through the Parramatta District Cricket Umpires Association. He became President of Parramatta in 2005, a position which he still holds.
He was an SCA delegate for seven years, a Cricket NSW delegate for seven years, and was elected to the Sydney Cricket Association Committee of Management before stepping down when elected to the Board of the NSW Cricket Association in 2008.
“Thank you to my colleagues on the Board of Cricket NSW, and to all the staff and players who have helped along the way,” Monaghan said.
“I plan to continue to support the grass roots of cricket and I remain committed to the cause and true to the blue!”
Jones said that as a player, coach and administrator, Monaghan volunteered an enormous amount of time to the game.
“Greg took his experience as a seasoned Grade cricketer back to grass roots, which is his continuing passion,” he said.
“Cricket is built on the passion of volunteers and Greg exemplifies this with his years of dedicated service off the field.”
Former Blues allrounder and current Sydney Cricket Club president Neil Maxwell was also endorsed as a Cricket NSW Board Member on Monday night, replacing recently retired chairman John Warn.
Current NSW Country Cricket Chairman Paul Marjoribanks replaces his predecessor Ian Hogg on the Cricket NSW Board while the Hon Kevin Greene returns for another term.