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Steve O'Keefe quits first-class cricket after New South Wales snub
Retirement Call

Steve O'Keefe quits first-class cricket after New South Wales snub

Steve O'Keefe has called time on his red-ball career after being left disgruntled by New South Wales' decision to not offer a new contract to the left-arm spinner.

O'Keefe was the leading wicket-taker among spinners in the 2019-20 Sheffield Shied, helping his side become the champions following the tournament's premature conclusion due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 35-year-old finishes his first-class career with a stellar record of 301 wickets from 88 games at an impressive average of 24.66.

He has confirmed his availability for the Big Bash League where he represents the Sydney Sixers.

"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 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.

O'Keefe has also donned the national jersey on 16 occasions - nine Tests and seven T20Is - with his most memorable performance coming against India in 2017 when he registered astonishing match-figures of 12/70 to hammer the hosts for a commandeering Australian win.

His recent excellence in domestic cricket fuelled speculations for a Test recall for the two-match series in Bangladesh in June.

With Adam Zampa considered Australia's premier white-ball spinner, it seems unlikely that O'Keefe will get a chance to return to the international arena.

"Steve has been a committed and consistent performer for the Blues over a long period of time," Cricket New South Wales CEO Lee 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."