County news September 10, 2010

O'Brien Middlesex future in doubt

Cricinfo staff

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but there is a clause that states if he can't qualify as a domestic player in years two and three the deal can be withdrawn.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.