Cricket Australia withdraws Steve O'Keefe participation in Big Bash League

Steve O'Keefe has been replaced by Jordan Silk in Sixers squad
Steve O'Keefe has been replaced by Jordan Silk in Sixers squad

Cricket Australia has confirmed that New South Wales spinner Steve O'Keefe has been withdrawn from the Big Bash League squad of Sydney Sixers to give him more time to prepare for the upcoming tour of India.

The 32-year-old made an impressive comeback in the third Test against Pakistan in Sydney where he picked three wickets in the second innings to help Australia register a massive 220-run victory.

O'Keefe known more for his injury problems left Australia's tour of Sri Lanka after picking a groin injury in the first Test in Pallekele and in his absence Nathan Lyon and Jon Holland struggled which eventually led to 0-3 whitewash for Steven Smith's men.

Head of team performance Pat Howard said the additional time before the tour will help O'Keefe in more Test specific preparation.

“Post the Sri Lanka tour last year we have been in talks with Cricket NSW and Steve on the best way for him to prepare for the Qantas tour of India," said Howard.

"After his recent injuries, which have caused him to miss Sheffield Shield matches this season, he has had a lot less red ball match practice than other players that are likely to tour India and it is important he gets as much bowling in the format he is going to play.

“His focus will now be on Grade and Futures League cricket before likely being one of the first players to depart for Dubai in late January.”

Meanwhile, Sydney Sixers have opted to replace O'Keefe with Tasmanian batsman Jordan Silk for Monday's clash against Melbourne Renegades.

© Cricket World 2016