Australia spinner Steve O’Keefe has decided to retire from first-class cricket with immediate effect. The New South Wales (NSW) decided not to offer him a contract for the next summer which led to him taking this decision. O’Keefe has been one of the best spinners in Australia‘s domestic circuit having picked 301 wickets in his 88-match FC career at an impeccable average of 24.66.
The 35-year-old accounted for 224 scalps while playing for the New South Wales in 71 matches in the Sheffield Shield. He also played nine Test matches for Australia picking 35 wickets, 12 of which came in the Pune Test against India during the 2017 tour. Steve O’Keefe was disappointed for not getting a contract but his not so great disciplinary record might have also paved the way for this decision.
However, he thanked the NSW Cricket and all the people involved including his family and friends for supporting him during his 15-year career. “I was disappointed when I was told that I wasn’t getting a contract but I respect and accept the decision, so I have decided to retire from first-class cricket.
“I will forever be grateful to Lee [Germon, the Cricket NSW chief executive] and all the staff, from the front office to the warehouse to the development officers in regional areas, who have all shared the same passion for the game. They’ve played a huge role in making the last 15 years so memorable. And, of course, I am indebted to the fans, who supported my left-arm inswingers against their better judgement.
“On a personal level, I want to thank my family, as well as my manager and friend, Andrew Fraser. They’ve been by my side through everything and I couldn’t have done this without them. It’s been such a privilege to play for my country and captain my state, but above everything else, I’m most proud to have played alongside some of the best blokes I’ve ever met. When I think about my time playing cricket, that’s what I’ll miss most,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
Steve O’Keefe to continue playing the BBL
Meanwhile, Steve O’Keefe will be playing in the Big Bash League (BBL), Australia’s premier T20 competition. He features for the Sydney Sixers in the tournament, the team which won the previous season by defeating the Melbourne Stars at the SCG in the rain-affected final. The left-arm spinner picked seven wickets in the nine matches he played conceding runs at a wily economy of just 6.92.
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