Test spinner Stephen O'Keefe fined over drunken comments

SYDNEY (AP) " Cricket Australia has fined test spin bowler Stephen O'Keefe 20,000 Australian dollars ($15,100) for making "highly inappropriate comments" while intoxicated at a cricket awards ceremony, his second alcohol-related offense in less than a year.

Cricket New South Wales, which hosted last week's function, also banned O'Keefe from playing in Australia's domestic one-day competition next season.

In a statement Friday, Cricket Australia said O'Keefe will also be required to undergo counselling.

Last August, O'Keefe was fined $7,500 for misbehaving while under the influence of alcohol at a Sydney pub.

He was reported to have quit alcohol for six months in a bid to return to the test side, won back his place and took 19 wickets during Australia's recent test series in India, including hauls of 6-35 in both innings of the first test at Pune.

In a statement issued through Cricket Australia, O'Keefe apologized for his most-recent offense.

"At an official Cricket NSW function I became intoxicated and made highly inappropriate comments," he 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 counseling."

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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