Australia: Steve O’Keefe’s hopes of joining Australia spin attack in the four match Test series against India next month have been boosted after the left arm spinner was withdrawn from the remainder of the Big Bash League (BBL) to prepare for the tour.
O’Keefe, 32, returned home injured after playing his third Test in Sri Lanka last July and was only recalled to the national team for last week’s final Test against Pakistan.
He had been included in the Sydney Sixers squad to make his return to the BBL Monday’s match against Melbourne Renegades at the Sydney Cricket Ground before Cricket Australia (CA) pulled him out. O’Keefe will now focus on the five day format and will be part of a group of players travelling to Dubai for a training camp ahead of the Indian tour.
” Post Sri Lanka last year, we have been in talks with Cricket New South Wales and Steve on the best way for him to prepare for the tour of India. After his recent injuries, which caused him to miss matches this season, he has had a lot less red ball match practice than players that are likely to tour India and it is important he gets as much bowling in the format he is going to play”, CA performance manager Pat Howard said.
“Steve focus will now be on grade and futures league cricket before likely being one of players to depart for Dubia in late January”, Howard added.