Timeless Sydney Sixers spinner Steve O’Keefe says he is eyeing the end of his professional career, despite putting in another match-winning performance in the Thunder at the SCG on Saturday night.
The 37-year-old struck with his first ball to take out the dangerous Alex Hales after missing the previous two games with a hand injury, before taking 4-18 and bringing the Thunder back to 5-61 to effectively end the game.
After his performance as player of the match, the left-armer was asked if he had been given a new contract by the Sixers to continue next season.
“I don’t think I would sign it,” said O’Keefe, who also claimed 35 wickets in nine Tests for Australia.
“I think it’s highly unlikely that I’m going next year, I’m just going to enjoy this year.”
O’Keefe said whether he plays through or not was something that would likely be discussed in November this year before BBL|12 kicks off.
“We’ll see what everything looks like, but I’m not going to look for it (a new contract),” he said.
“It’s harder and harder every year to get up and even harder when you probably don’t train as much as you used to.
“We have some great kids at the club who I think deserve a chance now and if not this season then definitely the next.”
O’Keefe also thought about his career at the end of last season, but signed for another year in August.
He had only played one game of cricket this summer before the start of KFC BBL|11 and said that after their first game, it was a challenge to motivate himself to play another season.
But with 10 wickets from six matches, including two four wicket-hauls, and a 5.86 thrift rate so far this season, you’d have to imagine the Sixers would welcome him back if he was eager to continue playing.
O’Keefe said his body felt “old, fat, sluggish and sore” and he felt lucky that he didn’t have to run too much last night.
He revealed after the game that he had played the match and took four wickets with five stitches in his hand.
“I dislocated my middle knuckle so it went out and when it went out it split five stitches between my tissue,” he said.
“The doctor put that back in and then stitched it, and the stitches are still there, we have to take it out tonight.”
O’Keefe also missed three games earlier in the season with a calf injury, but that felt good after last night’s game.
The Sixers said O’Keefe would be game by game for the remainder of the season.
The side is now in the box to finish in the top two after leaping forward against the Thunder with last night’s crushing 60-run victory.