O’Keefe to miss remainder of BBL

“He has had a lot less red ball match practice than other players”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Sydney Sixers spinner Steve O’Keefe will play no further part in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) after being withdrawn from the tournament by Cricket Australia.

O’Keefe had originally been named in the Sixers’ squad to take on the Melbourne Renegades on Monday, but they had to make a last minute change.

Cricket Australia’s decision to go through with the move is due to the fact that they want O’Keefe to focus on preparing for the upcoming Test tour of India in February.

The board’s Executive General Manager of Team Performance, Pat Howard, made it clear that O’Keefe needs more practice with the red ball ahead of national team’s training camp in Dubai and the four-Test series against India.

“Post the Sri Lanka tour last year we have been in talks with Cricket NSW and Steve on the best way for him to prepare for the Qantas tour of India,” Howard said. “After his recent injuries, which have caused him to miss Sheffield Shield matches this season, he has had a lot less red ball match practice than other players that are likely to tour India and it is important he gets as much bowling in the format he is going to play.

“His focus will now be on Grade and Futures League cricket before likely being one of the first players to depart for Dubai in late January.”

Australia’s Test series against India will begin on February 23 in Pune.

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