© AFP
© AFP

The star for Australia on their India tour, Steven O’Keefe, was dropped for the two-Test tour of Bangladesh. To make matters worse, O’Keefe was suspended from playing limited-overs domestic cricket in Australia, following a misbehaviour incident playing for New South Wales (NSW). He was also fined AUS 20,000$ for making an inappropriate comment during NSW award function in a drunken state.

After an injury to pacer Josh Hazlewood, O’Keefe made his return in whites for the second Test against Bangladesh.

“Yeah I did [think my career was over]. Originally I felt that when I stuffed up the first time, you’re very lucky you get second chances and I got that, and I faltered again and made some mistakes, which I completely regret, I’m extremely sorry for. I’m just fortunate I’ve got supportive people around me who, as quick as they are to hand out punishment, will be the same people there to support so that as an individual I’m on the right track, not just as a cricketer,” said O’Keefe.

According to a report published in cricbuzz, speaking more about his NSW suspension, O’Keefe explained, “I completely accept the punishment handed down from NSW to ban me from the [limited-overs] cup, it was Andrew Jones’s decision and he thought that was right and I respect his judgement call on it. What was communicated to me was that was where it was at, the one-day tournament and not anything else. I wasn’t in a position to even challenge it and I completely understand why I got it. But I’ve known from the outset that was the decision, and Cracker [Australia’s chairman of selectors, Trevor Hohns] also reiterated to me that the door is not shut on you playing for Australia.”

He also thanked Trevor Hohns, Australia’s chairman of selectors, for keeping faith in him. “I was having a feed with a mate and saw the missed phone-call and was quite surprised to be honest. I originally got the message from David Freedman [NSW’s state talent manager] saying he had a message from Cracker [Hohns] and they’re still thinking of you and considering you. That was nice to know, then an hour after that I got a call from Cracker who filled me in with the good news.”

Talking about his inclusion, he added, “I know these moments for me will probably come around fleetingly, so I’m going to enjoy it. I’m excited to be back with the guys and I want to make a difference on the field and off the field with these guys in this group now. Playing or not playing, I want to make a difference.”