Many New South Wales players were snapped by franchisees during the IPL4 auction.
Melbourne: The auctions for the Indian Premier League (IPL)-4 sparked celebrations in Australia's New South Wales after quite a few of its players made the cut.
Moises Henriques, Simon Katich, Phillip Hughes and Stuart Clark were all already bought in the auction, but a little known talented all-rounder Stephen O'Keefe was snapped up by ex-Test quick Geoff Lawson for Kochi for $ 20,000.
Lawson, who has spent plenty of time keeping an eye on NSW's youngsters, also secured Steve Smith a day earlier for $ 200,000.
O'Keefe has been a revelation for NSW this summer with bat and ball and took three wickets during his only T20 international for Australia against Pakistan last July.
The 26-year-old carried the drinks during the T20 match against Sri Lanka and is included in the Aussie squad for the T20 opener against England in Adelaide on Wednesday.
Cricket NSW chief executive David Gilbert was especially delighted for O'Keefe. "He would be thrilled just to get the opportunity and to put himself in the shop window for further opportunities," he was quoted as saying in the Australian media.
"Without speaking for him, I don't think money is an issue for him. Dave Warner has done it all on the world stage, Brad Haddin is an international and Doug Bollinger helped Chennai win the title last time."
"Kochi have signed Steve Smith and Geoff Lawson would have been pivotal to that signing."
"He knows what Smith can do - probably moreso than other coaches - so there are definite advantages to knowing the cattle."