Drunken O'Keefe fined $20,000 over inappropriate comments
Australia and New South Wales spinner Steve O'Keefe has landed himself in hot water again, fined and suspended from next season's domestic 50-over competition after making inappropriate comments under the influence of alcohol.
Cricket Australia (CA) handed down the sanction on Friday, with O'Keefe fined 20,000 Australian dollars and forced to sit out the tournament due to an incident after the Steve Waugh Medal - Cricket NSW's end-of-season awards function.
It is O'Keefe's second offence under CA's Code of Conduct within the last 18 months following an alcohol-related incident in a Sydney hotel last year.
"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," O'Keefe said in a statement.
"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."
CA executive general manager 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.
"We're extremely disappointed this situation occurred, particularly on the back of a previous incident, and it now overshadows Steve's on-field performance on the recent tour of India."
Cricket NSW chief executive Andrew Jones added: "Steve 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 Steve needs to refocus himself on that task."