New Zealand news February 12, 2013

New Zealand's Ian Butler considered move to England

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealand fast bowler Ian Butler has admitted to having considered a move to England last year, a decision that would have involved abandoning his international career to play county cricket.

Butler's career has been dogged by injury, the most recent of which put him out of contention for the first Twenty20 against England in Auckland on February 9. He had picked up an ankle injury in the lead-up to the England series, during the warm-up games in Whangarei, meaning the wait for his first international game since December 2010 extended up until Tuesday's T20.

He has had a fine first-class 2012-13 season with Otago so far: he is second on the wickets charts at present, with 36 wickets from eight games at 23.52. But he did not have as good a season last year on and off the field, and that, Butler said, prompted him to consider the England move. "I would have signed over there for a county side and used my British passport [via his mother] like Hamish Marshall and guys like that have," he told Fairfax NZ News. "But I decided not to go. I didn't pull out but I was almost about to sign.

"I learned with Otago, you have to enjoy your cricket. As soon as you start taking that enjoyment out of it … like last year I had a few issues off the field and got dropped from my domestic T20 side and I didn't even want to play cricket.

"I started looking at using my British passport in England and things like that. When you're playing in a team environment that you enjoy, and you enjoy playing for your mates and your country, you shouldn't have to worry about what happens in the future."

Injury setbacks seemingly do not fluster Butler. Previously, after coming away from a one-dayer in 2004 with a bulging disc in his back, he was told by doctors that he would "never bowl again". To that, he said: "You don't believe everything the medical profession tells you."

Now, his focus is on Test cricket. The last of his eight Tests was way back in 2004 and he admits New Zealand's fast-bowling stocks are quite full at the moment but he hopes success in one-day cricket can feed through to the longer format.

"With the crop of bowlers we've got at the moment, I'd imagine there's a few ahead of me. The aim now is to not give people opportunities to drop me. I don't think I've ever bowled as well as I have this year. Four-day cricket is my favourite form of the game, it's not something I've given up on, and I love playing it."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anupam on February 14, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Oz batting is a joke in ODIs, In T20 and in test also except M.Clarke. M.Clarke axed all the senior players only siddle is left. he divided and demoralizes the team. @RandyOZ go and check out Oz Batting, spin, WK talent pool Oz allrounders not a bowler nor a batsman they are now finishers of T20. only pace bowling Pool is GOOD.

  • Anupam on February 14, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    he will play 2 game then he will be going to injured as all NZ players do. Injury is the HISTORY of NZ cricket. and one more thin not only simple injury but very long and retiring injuries.

  • Dummy4 on February 13, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    I know Ian was quick as when he started But a back injury put him put for ages & I heard his modified action has reduced his pace a lot... Anyone know what he averages now?

  • Dummy4 on February 13, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    ind cric lover theres more then one guy like who has pace adam milne who can bowl 150 trent boult who can swing and bowl 142 Mitchell McClenaghan can bowl 140 tim southee who can bowl 140

  • Dummy4 on February 13, 2013, 2:09 GMT

    genuine pace? he isnt as fast as he used to be. Why do you guys comment on teams and players you have no idea about. We have faster bowlers than him, about 4 in fact. Indian cricket lovers should stick to indian cricket. I don't wade in to talk about indian players i have NO idea about just because I want to sound like I have a world view of cricket.

    I like butler, good t 20 player, but he doesnt have "genuine" pace anymore, you are obviously just reading the cricket info write up that hasnt been updated properly since 2001 when he truly did look like he would have pace.

  • Will on February 12, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    Hi Randy, You might want to get your lumber jack Peter Siddle Back on the red meat, his pace has tailed away a lot. You can go on all you like about this apparent 'lack of depth' in England but you might want to have a think about the FACT Aus can't even field the same team two games running because your team are terrified of injuries.

  • Rich on February 12, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    Like Australia, England have a strong county system, as they've shown by producing players like Jos Buttler, Prior and Anderson, and international players will always want to further their careers by playing in it.

    @RandyOZ, As an Australain fan myself, even I admit England have a better squad depth than Australia. Don't you follow Aus cricket? They wrecked us last Ashes and whitewashed us last year. And with the back-to-back Ashes coming up, I'd be careful spewing crazy statements that people will just laugh at.

  • Randolph on February 12, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    England would have had him too, considering the gaping hole in their talent pool at the moment.

  • John on February 12, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    @RednWhiteArmy on (February 12, 2013, 11:05 GMT), not sure where it says that he had aspirations to play FOR England. It just says he wanted to play IN England, for a county. I'm sure that there's more money and probably more competition in FC cricket in England than NZ so it might be more rewarding for those who don't aspire to play for the NZ national team and don't mind leaving home.

  • Sean on February 12, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Everyone wants to play for the mighty, mighty England.

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