“Thought my career was over” says O’Keefe
Australian left-arm spinner O’Keefe thought that his career was over after his suspension from New South Wales and a fine of AUD 2000 causing downfall of his career from the Aussie side.
O’Keefe made some awful comments during the awards ceremony of New South Wales last season for which he faced punishment.
Besides, he was reported by the police and also fined 10000 AUD for misbehaving outside a pub in Sydney after his Sri Lanka tour was cut off due to injury.
O’Keefe wasn’t placed for the Aussie squad against Bangladesh but later on due to the injury of Josh Hazelwood he has now managed himself into the squad.
“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 that.”
“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,” O’Keefe said on Friday.
“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 Horns] also reiterated to me that the door is not shut on you playing for Australia,” O’Keefe said.
While the door wasn’t entirely shut he made a brilliant performance against India on the fourth Test which resulted in the only victory for the Aussies in the whole series. Maybe that is what put him the first choice after Hazelwood’s injury.
“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 [Horns] 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.”
Australia is making the same mistake as they did against India where their spinners couldn’t make much ease into the crease and match the batsman’s counterparts.
Now as they have an additional spinner it is their chance to do something extra-ordinary and come back to the series.