Australian news April 17, 2010

Aaron Bird ends first-class career

Cricinfo staff

New South Wales fast bowler Aaron Bird has retired, bringing an end to a first-class career blighted by a suspect bowling action. He will continue to play grade cricket for Canterbury-Bankstown.

"I have had a wonderful time representing NSW and loved every minute of it," Bird said. "I leave with a great sense of pride and achievement that I have represented this great state, and am truly thankful for the opportunity and support through some tough times that Cricket NSW has given me."

David Gilbert, the NSW chief, said Bird had set "an outstanding example to his teammates". "The manner with which he dealt with adversity during his playing career was truly inspirational."

Bird began his state career in 2005 and played six first-class games, 25 List A matches and 12 Twenty20s for New South Wales. His first setback came in 2006-07, when he was reported for a suspect action. Bird faced a possible ban but stress fractures prevented him from bowling and delayed testing. His action was cleared later but, in February 2009, he was suspended for the same problem. The last instance of Bird being reported was during NSW's Twenty20 match at the WACA in January.