Former Australian test cricketer and veteran commentator Kerry O'Keeffe has been forced to apologise to the touring Indian team and their supporters after a "racist" remark during the Boxing Day test in Melbourne.
Referring to Indian debutant Mayank Agarwal's first-class top score of 304 not out for state side Karnataka against Maharashtra in 2017, O'Keeffe said: "Apparently he got the triple against the railways canteen staff".
The 69-year-old broadcaster later added that the bowling attack was made up of "chefs and waiters".
Agarwal, who averages 50.22 in first-class cricket, scored 76 and 42 at the MCG as India comfortably won by 137 runs to move to within a draw of a historic series win on Australian soil.
Cricket lovers from across the globe reacted angrily to O' Keefe's comments with a number of fans claiming they were racist.
In an open letter published by Australia's Fox Sports, O 'Keeffe said he was "devastated" by the public outcry.
"That interpretation is not who I am. It is not what I represent. My style as a commentator is to attempt to find a quirky view to lighten up some of the serious analysis," O'Keeffe wrote.
"When I made a remark about Indian first-class batting averages within their domestic cricket competition being made against a 'canteen' bowling attack, I was being entirely tongue in cheek.
"I was certainly not disrespecting Indian cricket, where I toured as a schoolboy and for which I have the greatest admiration as a cricketing nation."
O'Keeffe, a leg-spinner who played 24 tests for Australia, said his family had been "shocked and saddened" by events.
"I accept that some fans may not always relate to my sense of humour — but missing the mark on a joke between overs is vastly different to what I've been accused of on Twitter and in some sections of the media in recent days.
"I respect India, its cricketers and its supporters for their deep love of the game and it hurts me to think a couple of misplaced attempts at humour might compromise our mutual joy in all things cricket."
He won't be making any drastic changes to his sense of humour, O'Keeffe insisted.
"While I've listened to the feedback to some of my calls, it's now important for me to move on and look to the Sydney Test. I love calling cricket for a living and I'll continue to do it in my slightly offbeat style," he wrote.
"I'd like to think I produce more diamonds than rocks in the commentary box and that viewers will give me the benefit of the doubt if I bowl the occasional no-ball."