County news

O'Brien Middlesex future in doubt

Cricinfo staff

September 10, 2010

Comments: 4 | Text size: A | A

Iain O'Brien celebrates after castling Kadeer Ali , Middlesex v Gloucestershire, County Championship, Division Two, Lord's, April 27, 2010
Iain O'Brien has been at Lord's for just one season © PA Photos
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Iain O'Brien, the former New Zealander seamer, faces an uncertain future at Middlesex after Australian opener Chris Rogers' recent move from Derbyshire to Lord's.

O'Brien signed a three-year contract with Middlesex before the season started but there is a clause that states if he can't qualify as a domestic player in years two and three the deal can be withdrawn.

Unless O'Brien can persuade the ECB to class him as a domestic player - because he is married to a English woman - Rogers' move means O'Brien will be unlikely to stay at Lord's.

"In the contract was a clause that gave Middlesex CCC an option to terminate the agreement should the club's requirements change and if Iain's attempts to qualify as a local player failed," Middlesex chief executive Vinny Codrington said on the club's website.

"To date, ours and Iain's attempts to sign him as a locally registered player for 2011 and 2012 have proven problematic, leaving him in an extremely difficult position contractually. We have spoken at length with Iain, and support him in his quest to challenge this decision and to gain registration in England as a domestic player."

After a largely injury-free career, O'Brien has been hampered by injury at Middlesex this season. He has played only seven of the 16 first-class matches, taking 23 wickets at an average of 27.30 with a best of 8 for 105.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by WilliamFranklin on (September 16, 2010, 12:40 GMT)

I'd rather him playing than listen to his attempts at humour in the commentary box.

Posted by   on (September 13, 2010, 13:13 GMT)

OB wishes to live in the UK and play county cricket as his wife is English and he wishes to live with her having not spent much time together since their wedding, and it was for that reason that he retired from international cricket. Therefore, there is no possibility that he will be able to "play for nz again".

I hope that OB is granted UK citizenship.

Posted by Mattthew on (September 12, 2010, 9:02 GMT)

let him play for nz again

Posted by   on (September 10, 2010, 16:40 GMT)

Although this story has only appeared on Cricinfo today, I have known for months that the last two years of Iain O'Brien's contract was dependant on him gainning UK citizenship, and as soon as it was announced that Chris Rogers had signed for Middlesex (of whom I am a member) as an overseas player I knew that OB was in a difficult position.

It would be a shame if OB is unable to continue playing for Middlesex as he is great to have around the club, although it is a shame that he has been injured a lot.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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