NSW all-rounder O'Keefe gets shock Oz team call-up

Written by: Devaki
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Sydney, July 1 (ANI): Unheralded New South Wales all-rounder Stephen O'Keefe has received a shock call-up as the replacement for injured spinner Nathan Hauritz in the Australian squad for the Test series against Pakistan in England.

Considered a surprise selection for the Australia A team's recent series against Sri Lanka A in Queensland, O'Keefe impressed national selectors enough to receive a senior squad nod after Hauritz was sent home from the UK with a foot injury.

The 25-year-old - who bowls left-arm spin but is a right-handed batsman - has played just eight first-class games.

"Stephen has performed strongly in the recent Australia A series against Sri Lanka A in Queensland and is a good young all-round cricketer who deserves his chance," said selectors' chairman Andrew Hilditch.

Malaysia-born O'Keefe only got a run for Australia A after Victoria's Jon Holland and Tasmania's Jason Krejza had off-season surgery.

But he seized his chance, claiming nine wickets in Australia A's two matches with Sri Lanka A in the last fortnight, including a haul of 7-35 in the opening game in Brisbane.

He also hit 61 and 47 in Australia A's first game.

O'Keefe only has limited first class experience but already boasts impressive stats.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, he has 365 first class runs at 52.14 with three 50s as well as 26 wickets at 27.53. (ANI)

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