Former Australia cricketer Kerry O’Keeffe. @ Fox Sports
Former Australia cricketer Kerry O’Keeffe. @ Fox Sports

Former Australia cricketer Kerry O’Keeffe has apologised for his crass comments directed at India’s debutant Mayank Agarwal on the opening day of the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Wednesday.

Agarwal, who has been a pressing case for an India call-up struck 76 on Day One of the Boxing Day Test to become the top-scoring Indian batsman on debut in Australia. He broke a 71-year-old record which was held by Dattu Phadkar.

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While commentating, O’Keefe described Agarwal’s scintillating 304 not out against Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy last year as a knock he achieved against railways canteen staff.

“Apparently he got the triple against the railways canteen staff,” O’Keefe said and added that the bowling attack was made up of “chefs and waiters”.

O’Keefe, a former Australia Test legspinner, was forced to tender an apology after facing severe backlash on social media. Later in the day, he took to the microphone to clarify his comments. “I was mentioning the runs Agarwal got in first-class cricket in India and there’s been a reaction,” O’Keeffe said.

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“There was no way I was demeaning the standard, it was tongue-in-cheek. There are lots of runs scored so apologies if anyone out there took offence.”