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O'Keefe out of BBL to prepare for India

AAP logoAAP 9/01/2017

Recalled Test spinner Steve O'Keefe appears all but assured of making Australia's tour to India after being withdrawn from the rest of the Big Bash League.

Cricket Australia have pulled O'Keefe out of the Sydney Sixers' BBL squad, forcing his replacement by Jordan Silk for Monday's night's match against the Melbourne Renegades at the SCG.

CA team performance boss Pat Howard made no secret of the fact O'Keefe was expected to make February's Test tour to India as he sent him off to prepare in second-tier Futures League interstate matches and Sydney Grade cricket with no Sheffield Shield being played this month.

"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 tour of India," Howard said in a statement.

"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."

O'Keefe was recalled to the national team for the final Test of the home summer against Pakistan at the SCG last week after he last played on last year's tour of Sri Lanka and returned home injured.

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