All-rounder Steve O'Keefe, who represented the now-terminated Kochi Tuskers Kerala franchise in 2011, has said it would be a “shame” if his IPL career culminates without a single cap.
O'Keefe is in town with New South Wales Blues for the Champions League T20 and got wind of Tuskers' dilemma through television reports.
“I watched it on a Hindi TV channel and couldn't understand what was going on. I think there's an appeal in the process and it would be a shame, considering I didn't get a game last season. Hopefully, they can get back in the competition. I don't know what jurisdiction they're under, but it'd be a real shame if we didn't get to play together.”
Speaking after practice at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Wednesday, O'Keefe, a left-arm spinner and hard-hitting bat, said he was comfortable bowling during the Power Play, and considered Indian wickets to be a whole new ball game.
“I've had a few cracks at bowling in the Power Play, in a couple of games in Sri Lanka, and I've learned from the experience. I feel it's completely different bowling on sub-continental wickets. In Australia we try and toss the ball up… here's it's a lot more scrambled, you bowl a lot more into the wicket. But you've got to be able to bowl in all conditions, so I am trying to develop that by practising on Chennai wickets.”
The 26-year-old, who has played five Twenty20 Internationals for Australia, said he felt ‘privileged' to participate in the CLT20, after having endured a not-too-distant career crisis.
“Only a few years ago I wasn't in the mix and was considering a couple of other career options. I thought of opening a bar in Thailand and even contemplated teaching, carpentry and becoming an entrepreneur.
I know that a career in cricket can be very fickle and coming here and being able to compete... that's definitely a big honour.”