On day one of the Test, the former Australian leg-spinner had drawn the ire of Indian cricket fans by belittling the domestic cricket achievements of debutant Mayank Agarwal.
Commentating for Fox Sports, the Aussie had insensitively remarked that Agarwal’s Ranji Trophy triple ton had come against a ‘Jalandhar Railways Canteen XI’ on air. Agarwal would go on to register a vital 76-run knock in his maiden international innings, forcing the commentator to later issue an apology.
India bowling coach Bharat Arun has revealed that the team management had been made aware of O’Keefe’s disparaging comments but stated that they had no intention of filing an official complaint.
It might just be me, but it's pretty uncool to ridicule the FC comp of another country while using dubious stereotypes for a cheap laugh...— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) December 26, 2018
Addressing the media following the completion of the fourth day’s play in the Boxing Day Test, Arun said: “Yes, it does hurt you but when people make those remarks, there is nothing you can do about it.”
“It’s beyond your control. If you can channelise that hurt towards doing better on the field that answers all the questions,” he added.
While no official complaint will be made, a report by ESPNcricinfo states that several players in the Indian squad are said to be furious at O’Keefe’s jibe.
While O’Keefe did apologise for his comments on Agarwal, the Australian commentator was at it again on day four. Ridiculing the pronunciation of the names of Indian players, O’Keefe said, “Why would you call your kid Cheteshwar Jadeja?”
The Indian team management are yet to take note of the commentator’s latest controversial comments and it remains to be seen if they intend to escalate the matter.
The visitors are currently two wickets away from taking a 2-1 lead in the four-match series ahead of the final day’s play in the Melbourne Test.
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