Steve O’Keefe knows Saturday’s Big Bash League final could be a potential swan song as he seeks to secure what would be arguably the Sydney Sixers’ greatest triumph.
O’Keefe and captain Moises Henriques have a chance to achieve something special at the SCG.
The veterans will be the only members of the Sixers’ XI who also won the maiden BBL final, in 2012, and last year’s final.
The Sixers’ path to this BBL decider, which included topping the table and then crushing the Perth Scorchers in a qualifying final at Manuka Oval, has been their most nomadic.
The final will mark their only home game in Sydney during this coronavirus-affected season, as Cricket Australia has attempted to stay one step ahead of border closures.
“Everyone’s going a bit mad, being in the same bubble with the same people,” O’Keefe said.
“It seems a bit like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
“We’ve been on the road for longer than what we probably thought we would be… extremely pumped to play in front of our fans.
“We said at the start of the tournament that we were going to be the most adaptable team, the team that adapts the best will get to play in the showcase.”
The 36-year-old spinner and the Sixers are yet to make a call regarding a potential contract for next season.
“If anyone is keen on a 40-year-old, middle aged, depressed, fat, left-arm slow spinner; I’m available,” O’Keefe joked.
“I debated this at the start of the season, whether I’d still like to go around. The answer depends on when you ask me.
“We’ll have that discussion at the end.
“If there’s a spot then great. I’ll (also) happily stand aside and let those guys (young spinners Ben Manenti and Lloyd Pope) have their 10 years.
“I’ve played for 10 years and couldn’t be happier.”
Englishman James Vince, who finished 98 not out in a lopsided qualifying final, felt winning on Saturday would be a greater achievement than last year’s title.
“You don’t often have teams go back-to-back in tournaments. Shippy (coach Greg Shipperd) speaks about being hunted after winning it,” Vince said.
“Being on the road … it’s been a massive effort and the group has stayed together really well.”
O’Keefe praised Shipperd and general manager Jodie Hawkins for keeping the best possible environment during the past two months.
“It’s tough at times. There’s blokes who have found it really hard,” he said.
“We don’t go ‘harden up’ because it’s different for each individual, we listen to each individual.”