O'Keefe's chances of comeback looks bleak - Smith

Steve O'Keefe might have played his last Test for Australia
Steve O'Keefe might have played his last Test for Australia
©REUTERS
 

Australia captain Steven Smith admitted that the chances of New South Wales spinner Steve O'Keefe making a comeback into the national side looks bleak.

The 32-year-old was overlooked for the upcoming Bangladesh tour despite ending as Australia's leading wicket taker in the Test series against India earlier this year where he even registered a career best 12-wicket haul in the game in Pune.

O'Keefe also faced a suspension and a $20,000 fine by the New South Wales board for his offensive comments while intoxicated following Steve Waugh Medal presentation in April. This was also his second offence in last nine months after he was slammed with another $10,000 fine by Cricket Australia for involving in a verbal altercation with a security guard at The Steyne Hotel in Sydney.

In the place of O'Keefe selectors have selected Ashton Agar as the left-arm option for the Bangladesh series with Nathan Lyon leading the spin attack.

"Now is probably a chance to move on to someone else and Ashton Agar's going to get his opportunity," Smith told Cricket Australia's website (cricket.com.au).

"(Agar) has been around for a while now and it's another chance for him to have a crack in spin-friendly conditions and hopefully he can go really well for us.

"I have (spoken to O'Keefe) and he was disappointed, which is fair enough. He understands where we're heading.

"He's getting a bit older now and our next tour back to India is in four years' time and we've got to find the right group of guys that are going to be there for that series."

Apart from Lyon and Agar, the squad also features young uncapped leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson, who also expressed surprise at his inclusion over O'Keefe.

"SOK (O'Keefe) bowled really well in India and he's done well in Shield cricket for a long time now, so I was actually very surprised to see him not get the nod again," Swepson told the website.

"But that's obviously all up to the selectors."

The two Tests will be played in Mirpur and Chittagong between 27th August and 8th September.

© Cricket World 2017