Australian cricketer Steve O’Keefe has announced his retirement from first-class cricket on Sunday (5th April). The spinner has almost a 15-year-long cricket career, since first breaking into the scene back in 2005 when he started playing cricket for New South Wales (NSW Blues).
Well, the reason for O’Keefe’s retirement is being snubbed a contract by his state team NSW. The 35-year-old has also captained his team in 2011 and 2013 respectively. For his impressive performance in the 2012-2013 Sheffield Shield season, he earned the call-up in the national side in 2014 but he had an unfortunate international career and eventually, opportunities fell short for him.
Steve O’Keefe was the star performer for the team against India:
The left-arm spinner’s best bowling figure of 12 for 70 came against India in 2017 during Pune’s Test match. In his nine Test appearances, he bagged 35 wickets at an average of 29.40. He has played seven T20Is and picked up six wickets.
However, he had a short international Test career but in domestic cricket, he played a pivotal role for the Blues. With 16 scalps in five games, O’Keefe was the leading wicket-taker among spinners in the 2019-20 Sheffield Shield. In his 88 first-class cricket matches, he has scalped 301 wickets that include thirteen five-wicket hauls.
“It’s been such a privilege to play for my country”: Australian cricketer
Steve O’Keefe was thoroughly disappointed for not bagging the contract from his state team. However, he expressed that he was grateful for getting opportunities.
“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,” the left-arm spinner said in a statement.
“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 added.
Further, he said that he will be available to play for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League (BBL) and will also continue playing for his premier club, Manly Warringah.
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