County news June 23, 2010

Niall O'Brien suspended and sacked as Northamptonshire vice-captain

Cricinfo staff

Northamptonshire have suspended Niall O'Brien and stripped him of the vice-captaincy after he breached team rules.

O'Brien, who is a combative wicketkeeper batsman and a fixture in the Ireland national team, was left out of Northamptonshire's last two Friends Provident t20 matches as a result of his actions, the details of which the county have not disclosed.

Northamptonshire have said that an investigation has been launched and they will be meeting O'Brien to discuss the situation further.

"Niall will face an internal disciplinary and we'll be meeting with him in the near future," said Northamptonshire chief executive Mark Tagg. "He was suspended from the Derbyshire game at the weekend and has had the vice-captaincy taken away from him until the matter has resolved."

Northamptonshire have struggled so far in the competition, winning just three of their eight games to sit in seventh place in the North Group.