Steve O'Keefe was also fined in April for an alcohol incident post an award ceremony © Getty Images
Steve O’Keefe was also fined in April for an alcohol incident post an award ceremony © Getty Images

Australia recently announced the squad for their Bangladesh tour in August. Ashton Agar was picked in place of spinner Steve O’Keefe, who had bagged 12 wickets in the series opener against India at Pune. While many were unhappy with the selection especially after O’Keefe’s performance in the India tour, NSW’s chief executive Andrew Jones has labelled it as ‘unjust’ and ‘not a good cricket decision.’ Agar was chosen as the second spinner to support Nathan Lyon. Australia’s chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns explained the reason behind O’Keefe being dropped. O’Keefe might have begun his India tour on a bright note but was unable to build the momentum in the remaining games which was the reason for being axed. Australia announce squad for Bangladesh tour; Starc rested, O’Keefe dropped

Speaking to News Ltd. Jones aimed at the national selectors and said, “It’s unfair to be honest. I think it’s just unjust. I think ‘SOK’ should be in the side. He was the leading wicket-taker in India and had the best figures by any spinner visiting India ever. Clearly he’s the best left-arm spinner in Australia. I think the facts speak for themselves. Agar will be a good cricketer …but this is not a good cricket decision.” Agar shot to fame during Ashes 2013. He smashed 98 batting at No. 11 on debut.

He has 96 wickets off 35 shield matches playing for Western Australia. He also holds two First-Class centuries. Recently, O’Keefe was also fined by Cricket Australia (CA) in an alcohol incident after an award ceremony.

Jones feels that his punishment should also not be the reason for dropping him, “If we thought it was a career-ending offence we would have torn up his contract. And we didn’t. We levied a punishment which we thought appropriate and proportionate. Obviously Cricket Australia agreed with that. The behaviour issue was an issue but it’s been dealt with. There’s no double jeopardy. The feedback is it’s a cricket decision. That needs to be judged on that basis and I just think the numbers tell the story. If I were him I wouldn’t be happy.”