All-rounder Stephen O’Keefe has been appointed as the captain of the RTA SpeedBlitz Blues for season 2011-12. Australian captain Michael Clarke will, however, lead the side whenever his International playing commitments permit.
Cricket NSW is looking to the future with the appointment of O’Keefe. Long serving captain Simon Katich will now return to the ranks as a batsman after leading the side in the recent Champions League in India. With O’Keefe returning next week from national duty in South Africa, Ben Rohrer will captain New South Wales for this week’s Ryobi Cup and BUPA Sheffield Shield fixtures in Adelaide.
Katich has endorsed the appointment of O’Keefe : ‘Stephen is a talented cricketer and will do an excellent job of leading the side. I accept and respect the decision to appoint a new captain with an eye to the future.’
Cricket NSW Chief Executive David Gilbert was full of praise for Katich’s captaincy of the State since 2002: ‘Simon has been an outstanding captain of New South Wales for the past nine years and we are indebted to him for the service he has given in this role. When I discussed with him during the winter the need for a captaincy succession plan for the mid to long term, it was typical of the man that he accepted that this was the way forward. His leadership both on and off the field over the past nine years has set the benchmark.’
Teams for the Ryobi Cup and BUPA Sheffield Shield fixtures against South Australia starting this weekend, will be released tomorrow.