Australia news August 8, 2016

O'Keefe fined over hotel incident

Steve O'Keefe stated that he took full responsibility for his behaviour that forced CA to fine him © AFP

Injured spinner Steve O'Keefe has been fined $10,000 by Cricket Australia after being issued with a criminal infringement notice by New South Wales Police following an incident at a Sydney hotel on Saturday night.

O'Keefe, who played the first Test of Australia's ongoing tour of Sri Lanka before being forced home due to a hamstring injury, accepted his penalty from Cricket Australia for breaching the CA Code of Behaviour.

"Just before 11pm, on Saturday 6 August 2016, a 31-year-old man attempted to enter licensed premises at The Corso, Manly," a New South Wales Police media statement said, as reported by the Daily Telegraph. "It will be alleged the man behaved offensively towards a security guard, who had refused the man entry.

"The man allegedly verbally abused the security and management personnel, and refused to leave. Officers attached to Northern Beaches Local Area Command attended and the man was issued a criminal infringement notice for offensive behaviour, and excluded person remain in vicinity of licensed premises."

O'Keefe was charged by Cricket Australia with "conduct unbecoming of a player". Cricket Australia executive general manager of team performance, Pat Howard, said CA was "extremely disappointed" by O'Keefe's behaviour.

"We take a zero-tolerance approach to this type of behaviour from players at any level in Australian cricket," Howard said. "Steve understands our expectations and that we're extremely disappointed this situation occurred, particularly as he is recovering from an injury."

Andrew Jones, the chief executive officer of Cricket New South Wales, said: "Steve has had a difficult couple of weeks but that is no excuse. We expect a high standard from our players on and off the field and in this case Steve failed to meet those high standards.

"I have spoken to Steve and he is very disappointed with his behaviour. He has apologised to the management of The Steyne Hotel and accepts that he will be sanctioned."

O'Keefe had only recently returned from Sri Lanka, where he played the third Test of his career. He said in a statement that he took full responsibility for his actions.

"I know I failed to uphold the high standards expected of a NSW and Australian cricketer and apologise to all concerned," O'Keefe said. "I take full responsibility for my actions and accept the sanction handed to me by Cricket Australia."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

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