HOBART, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 02: Tim Paine of the Hurricanes wicketkeeps during the Big Bash League match between the Hobart Hurricanes and the Brisbane Heat at Blundstone Arena on January 2, 2015 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Former Test, New South Wales and Sydney Sixers spinner Steve O'Keefe has called for Tim Paine to play in this summer's Big Bash League.

Paine, who has formerly turned out for the Hobart Hurricanes in Australia's domestic T20 competition, is currently uncontracted for the season ahead.

Having taken an indefinite break from the sport after the sexting scandal which ultimately saw him step down from the Australian Test captaincy, however, the 37-year-old is yet to announce his retirement.

In an added boost to the chances of Paine turning out for his state in the BBL this season, head of strategy for the men in purple, another former Test captain in Ricky Ponting has previously said he wants Paine among the Hurricanes' squad.

O'Keefe, speaking to News Corp, said Cricket Australia should chip in to ensure Paine plays in this year's BBL campaign.

“I’m happy to sit here and say I think it would be a great move for CA and the cricket community to get Tim Paine back playing and involved in cricket,” O’Keefe told News Corp.

“Because of the work that he’d done when cricket was arguably going through its darkest moments –he brought us back into it.

“I’d love nothing more than to have that bloke come out and play, it’d be a great story.

“One thing the game doesn’t do well is the exiting part of players’ careers. And it doesn’t sit well with me how he’s finished up.

“He’s a player who deserved a lot better.

“He missed the Hobart Test last summer. (CA should be saying), ‘come back and help the Hurricanes win their first BBL title and go out a home crowd hero.

“(They should say) ‘we’ll top it up. We want you to do a bit of commentary, we want you to coach. We want you. Because of the service and what you’ve done for us, we’re going to look after you and we want you to grow the game for us rather than leave bitter and twisted.’

“I don’t know where he’s at. I don’t know him that well, but getting him to play would be amazing. People would turn up.”

Paine, who played 35 Tests and 35 ODIs for Australia, also played 12 internationals in the shortest format of the game and has played a further 68 T20s at domestic level.