Steve O'Keefe celebrates during the Big Bash League match between the Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers at Sydney Cricket Ground on December 27, 2016 in Sydney, Australia.

Sydney Sixers veteran Steve O'Keefe has put off retirement for another year, fueled by his belief the outfit can win a third Big Bash crown. The left-arm spinner is priming for his 12th season in the BBL during a seemingly never-ending twilight of his career.

O'Keefe had looked certain to retire, following fatigue at the endless COVID bubbles and with his enjoyment of the game waning. However, as reported by, he firmly believes the Sixers can win the title again following their disappointing loss in the final last season.

In fact, so certain was he to retire that had they finished seventh or eighth, the 37-year-old admits his career would be over.

Yet with the Sixers having won two titles in three years coming into BBL 12, O'Keefe feels "rejuvenated" under coach Greg Shipperd and Captain Moises Henriques. He certainly credits the BBL with his career revival.

"The Big Bash has been a lifeline for me," O'Keefe told

"When I got fired from the Sheffield Shield, I felt really rejected and embarrassed, you've spent so much time playing cricket, the way that you just get shown the door, it's certainly not compassionate.

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"But it has to be done, everyone's cricket career comes to an end at some stage.

"I went into (the BBL the following season) and I played with a bit of bitterness; 'Right, I'm going to prove that I've still got it'.

"So I think that (not wanting to play on at the end of BBL|11) was a reflection of my frustration at the time, I was just a bit disillusioned with cricket, I wasn't enjoying that Big Bash bubble, we were subbing players in and out, some guys were playing for (multiple) teams."

As one of the only remaining members of the original Sixers BBL01 squad, the man they call 'SOK' is keen to finish on a high.

"It would have been a shame to go out on a bit of a sour taste (last season), so I'm just going to dedicate the next few months to try and get back to fitness and run and enjoy being fit and hit the ground in the best possible condition I can," he says.

"I want to be able to have fun this year, that's going to be the main focus."

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With Shipperd describing O'Keefe as "another coach", his experience will prove invaluable to the team as they hunt for glory again. For his part, O'Keefe is keen to repay the faith shown in him.

"I look at him (Shipperd) as a mentor on the field and off the field, he offers great advice, he's so astute with his knowledge, it's not the same old peach," said O'Keefe.

"I've played under coaches who will come in at the end of the day's play and read off a pen and paper what their thoughts were on the day, whereas Greg can just get up and feel the room, know what needs to be said, says it to the right people at the right time.

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"He's just a lovely man, a great man, great servant of the game and I'm like; 'Well, I get to play under him again, that's just another opportunity to learn more and more'."

While the prospect of joining the media appears to appeal to O'Keefe, given his work for SEN and commentary work for, it will have to wait for at least one more summer as he seeks to finish on the ultimate high.