Steve O’Keefe hints at his BBL retirement ahead of Sydney Derby

Steve O Keefe
Steve O Keefe (image: CA)

The left-arm spinner hints at his retirement in this BBL career after this season with Sydney Sixers.

Steve O’Keefe hints at his BBL retirement

The 39-year-old cricketer is set to retire in the ongoing BBL 2023-24. Ahead of the BBL Sydney Derby on January 12, his retirement is likely to be featured after his match at SCG.

His evening could be much more significant than that of David Warner’s hasty flight from his brother’s wedding.

Sydney Sixers are still in the running a host a final, and perhaps even the decider if they can get into qualifier and defeat Brisbane Heat on the Gold Coast.

The left-arm spinner talked about retirement frequently over the last few seasons. He’s planned to relocate to Northern New South Wales and has no plans to continue playing cricket.

“It will be very hard to play next year so this could be my last game at the SCG,” he said. “It’s not 100 percent confirmed, and I’ll make sure the right people know that at the right time.

“I’ve had a great time playing it and now the expectation around your training and your body, committing to cricket 12 months of the year is probably something that’s a bit past me at the moment.

“I feel fulfilled with what I’ve done career-wise and very, very happy. I’ve had a lot of fun this year and am certainly still enjoying it.”

O’Keefe is currently the third-highest wicket-taker for sixers in the BBL with 94 at 23.40 and a miserly economy rate at 6.69. He only had three wickets in six games, but has still only conceded 6.65 in an over.

He is confident in the future of the sixer’s spin bowling with Todd Murphy and Joel Davies as part of the current squad.

He made his T20 debut in the state league, the precursor to the BBL in 2009, bowled one game against Tasmania at Stadium Australia and batted at No.9.

“There’s been plenty of highs on the field…playing for Australia is something that will stand out,” he said.

“Unfortunately for me, my lowlights were all off the field but certainly brought a lot of growth and development. For the Sixers, going back-to-back [titles] was amazing and also when we went to South Africa for the Champions League, that was a lot of fun.”

“I was bitter and twisted for a couple of years,” he said. “Certainly took its toll…certainly takes you aback, especially in an association you’ve been playing cricket for 20 years.”

“The cold-hearted nature of how it happens can be quite a shock. Certainly don’t want to play the woe-is-me card, think everyone goes through it in certain aspects of their life no matter what they do.

“I’ve just been privileged and fortunate enough that I’ve been able to extend my career in cricket. A lot of players years ago wouldn’t have had that opportunity to continue.”

“This place [Sixers] has reinvigorated a love for the game which thought I didn’t have a couple of years ago and it’s been so much fun.”

He has aspirations to work as a spin-bowling coach and may continue to work in commentary, “I’d like to help out, think spin bowling is somewhere I can help,” he said. “It’s something I’m passionate about.”

“I’m just going to sit in front of the TV and become an armchair expert,” he joked. “I might open a Twitter page and see how much trouble I can get into doing that.”

Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunders will be playing their BBL match on January 12 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.