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Discussion in 'Cricket' started by TheParraboy, Apr 5, 2020.
Will play on for the Sixers and his grade club...
Steve O’Keefe farewells the Blues
Cricket NSW Media
Cricket NSW has paid tribute to long-serving spinner Steve O’Keefe, who will not continue with the Blues next season.
The 35-year-old will however play on for the Sydney Sixers and his Premier Club Manly-Warringah.
Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon praised O’Keefe for his achievements over a 15-year career with the Blues.
“Steve has been a committed and consistent performer for the Blues over a long period of time,” Mr Germon said.
“He is one of the most successful spinners ever to play for NSW, which earned him Australian selection and the captaincy of the Blues.
“On behalf of Cricket NSW I’d like to thank Steve for his great service to NSW and Australian cricket and look forward to him continuing his career with Manly and the Sixers.”
O’Keefe said he was not offered another contract with the Blues but was grateful for the many opportunities that Cricket NSW had given him over such a long 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,” O’Keefe said.
“I will forever be grateful to Lee 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.”
O’Keefe claimed 301 wickets in 88 First Class matches, including nine Tests for Australia, famously returning career best figures of 12-70 against India in Pune, February 2017.
His 6-35 in each innings were the best figures taken by a visiting spinner during a Test in India.
He claimed 35 Test wickets at an average of 29.4 and also appeared in seven T20 Internationals for Australia collecting six wickets.
O’Keefe’s First Class record included 13 five-wicket hauls and a best return of 8-77 for the Blues at Junction Oval in Melbourne during March 2018.
The veteran spinner played five matches for the Blues during their 47th Sheffield Shield title last season, which was awarded to NSW after nine rounds due to the coronavirus health crisis.
His 300th First Class scalp came in February at the SCG against Victoria.
He made his Test debut in October 2014 against Pakistan in Dubai and played his final Test in Bangladesh during September 2017.
O’Keefe made his Shield debut in November 2005, then known as the Pura Milk Cup. He finished his career with 224 First Class and Sheffield Shield wickets for NSW, at an average of 25.
He captained NSW between 2011 and 2013.
Of the 19 spinners to take 200 or more Shield wickets, O’Keefe has the best bowling average since South Australian spinner Ashley Mallett retired in 1981.
O’Keefe is the third most successful left-arm finger spinner in Sheffield Shield history behind former England Test player the late Tony Lock and Victorian Ray Bright.
O’Keefe is also fifth on the list of most successful Shield spinners for NSW behind Greg Matthews, Stuart MacGill, Richie Benaud and Johnny Martin.
Along with Murray Bennett, O’Keefe is one of only two left arm finger spinners to take more than 100 Sheffield Shield wickets for NSW.
He also scored 2,356 First Class runs overall at 25.6, showing his value with the bat down the order.
O’Keefe’s highest First Class score was 99, coming to the crease at No. 9, against Tasmania in Hobart during February 2015. It was one of 12 half-centuries for him at the First Class level.
He also claimed 30 List A One-Day wickets from 53 matches.
Steve O’Keefe - Sheffield Shield Career - November 2005 to February 2020
Matches Runs Ave H.S. 50s Wickets Ave 10 wm 5 wi
71 1,938 24.53 99 9 224 25.01 2 7
Cricket NSW are on drugs if they can't find a spot for him.
I think his cards have been marked for a while. Great bowler, but clearly a bit of jerk on the tiles.
Had the great fortune to train with the Sixers a few years back with my team. Brilliant nets session but when it was over, SOK stayed with our team for about an hour afterwards chatting with us. We heard some of his stories, he heard some of ours and was genuinely interested. In meeting many public figures and sportsman, he was one of the best. And definitely the best sportsman by a mile.
Yeah I've not met him personally, really, but everything I've heard is he's a bit of a legend. But just a pest on the sauce.
Basically he'd be Australian captain in the 1980s
I think everyone has a mate like that. Top bloke, but once he has the sixth schooner you start planning your smokebomb.
Very under appreciated spinner he should’ve been given more of a look in considering the likes of Doherty and Beer got tests before him.
Very good player. That tour of India with Lyon, Agar, Swepson and O'Keefe was an interesting time. So much conjecture about which spinners to pick but he was the difference in the first test .
I'm not sure if this was the number one factor that limited his time at the top but confirmed by O'Keefe himself that it caused issues:
Speaking to ABC’s Corbin and Ben radio show, the 35-year-old confessed off-field incidents “absolutely” impacted his international cricket career, and was “disappointed” by his behaviour.
“What the Australian team and public deserve is not only cricketers, but good role models,” O’Keefe said on Sunday.
“Absolutely, I dropped the ball not once and twice, and I’m really ashamed of the way that I’ve behaved.
“Cricket Australia really put in a lot of support networks for people when they do drop the ball like I did … and I don’t hold any grudges because of that.
“It was never said to me, ‘You did this, so you don’t deserve this,’ but I know for a fact that if I behave better and do all the right things, then you get that opportunity.
Probably want to get the next young spinner in. Tanveer Sangha is ridiculously highly rated as a leggie (played in the Aus u19, also in the Sydney Thunder squad last season)
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