Much-loved ABC radio commentator Kerry O’Keeffe has announced he will retire from his career behind the microphone after the fifth Commonwealth Bank Ashes Test.
O’Keeffe, who has gained a cult following among cricket listeners for his humorous commentary, infectious laugh and eccentric personality, will be a major loss to the ABC Grandstand team.
The former leg-spinner, who played 24 Tests for Australia, was also highly-respected in cricket circles for his insightful commentary on the game.
The 64-year old made the announcement alongside veteran caller Jim Maxwell during the final session of play.
"Sadly this is my last Boxing Day Test,” said O’Keefe. “I'm retiring from cricket broadcasting after the Sydney Test. I’ve thought long and hard about it for a number of weeks but you know when you're time is up, and after 13 summers with ABC Grandstand, I'm retiring from cricket broadcasting.
“I'm going nowhere else, not entertaining anything. I've just had the best 13 years. I’ll sign off in Sydney. We’ll have a bumper Test and I’ll say my 'thankyous' there.
"I thought I'd last one Test. I knew my commentary style was not what the ABC listener really was used to."
O’Keefe hinted that the changing nature of the game and the rise of Twenty20 had influenced his decision.
“(Test cricket is) my form and the only form I embrace 100 per cent," he said. “I’ve had a terrific ride and it’s time for someone else to have a crack.”
Kerry's observational humour, sense of fun, mischievous anecdotes have drawn audiences to listen to ABC cricket like no other. Brilliant.— jim maxwell (@jimmaxcricket) December 27, 2013
O'Keeffe: "I'm going nowhere else, not entertaining anything. I've just had the best 13 years." #farewellkerry— ABC Grandstand (@abcgrandstand) December 27, 2013
Sad news, Kerry O'Keeffe just announced on ABC Grandstand he's stepping away from commentary after this series. will be missed greatly— Chris Barrett (@ChrisBarrett_) December 27, 2013