O’Keefe seeks cricket selector answers

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    Out of favour spinner Stephen O’Keefe is still in the dark about why he is on the nose with Australian cricket selectors after trying to get feedback through a third party.

    A lot of pundits were surprised O’Keefe didn’t get picked for the Test tour of India.

    He completed a decent campaign for NSW, taking 24 wickets at 22 and averaged 25 with the bat.

    Australia’s specialist tweakers Nathan Lyon and Xavier Doherty averaged 37 and 60 per wicket respectively in India, with Lyon’s figures improved by a nine-wicket haul in the final match.

    Former NSW captain O’Keefe, 28, hasn’t played a Test but has the respectable figures of six wickets at 24.83 from seven T20 appearances, the last of which was in October 2011 against South Africa in Johannesburg.

    There has been talk in some quarters that his forthright and candid attitude has upset some senior figures in the Australian cricket hierarchy.

    O’Keefe enlisted NSW chairman of selectors David Freedman as a third party to talk to the selectors, but said he still hadn’t received specific feedback.

    “I can’t complain. I certainly don’t feel bitter about anything,” O’Keefe said.

    “But a good reason on how you can improve would be nice to hear, so I can go away with my game and work on it.

    “I’d just like to know whether they think it’s an attitude thing, a skill thing.

    “I’m willing to have that conversation. Now I haven’t got too much feedback, I might just ring (a selector) and just ask ‘what would you prefer to see me doing?’.”

    O’Keefe said the perception he took most of his wickets at the SCG was incorrect.

    He was hoping to be selected for the upcoming Australia A tour of Britain and hadn’t given up hope of winning a Test cap.

    “It’s every kid’s dream to wear that baggy green – it’s still mine,” O’Keefe said.

    While O’Keefe is a better batsman than the other current specialist spinners, he said he wanted to be regarded as a slow bowler and not an allrounder.

    He gave up the NSW captaincy late in the season and endorsed his replacement Ben Rohrer as the Blues fulltime skipper for next summer.

    NSW just missed out on the Sheffield Shield final, with a one-point over rate penalty ultimately denying them a place in the four-day decider.

    © AAP 2017
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