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January 30, 2012
Iain O'Brien, the former New Zealand seamer, has retired due to a chronic back injury. He hoped to resurrect his career in Wellington but decided his injury was too serious.
O'Brien, 35, made his international debut against Australia at Christchurch in March 2005 but after that series didn't play another Test for two seasons. He returned in November 2007 against South Africa at Johannesburg and went on to play 22 Tests in all, taking 73 wickets at 33.27.
Having been recommended to retire in 2003 after being told he had the back of a 60 year-old, O'Brien continued to play international cricket before retiring in 2009 after the World T20 in England. He wanted to settle in the UK and continue his career with Middlesex but employment problems prevented him from becoming a British-qualified player.
O'Brien announced the news that his cricket "ride" was over in an emotional blog. "I've cried in changing rooms and hotels all around the world but how could I walk away," he said of his experiences in coping with the injury. "I've got more out of my body than I should have. Time's up."
He returned to Wellington and began rehabilitation with the hope of returning to international cricket. "I was doing everything I could to get back out for Wellington and if good enough, back into the New Zealand team," O'Brien said. "That was the dream. That was the motivation.
"I now know I'll never play for New Zealand again. The motivation to keep going has dwindled. So, on that note I know it's time to walk away."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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