New Zealand cricket news December 5, 2009

Iain O'Brien to retire from international cricket

Cricinfo staff
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Iain O'Brien, the New Zealand fast bowler, will retire from international cricket at the end of the Test series against Pakistan to move to the UK to be with his wife and play for Middlesex.

O'Brien said the decision had been a tough one to make but that his personal circumstances were such that he could no longer keep his national commitments. "My wife lives and works in the UK and my immediate future is there," O'Brien said. "Since we married, two and a half years ago, we have spent only nine months together. I am 33 years old and my main focus now is becoming a 'proper' husband, starting a family, settling down and securing my future in that country. Cricket has been my number one; I've placed it in front of everything else. It's now time to put Rosie first and start a family. I intend to keep playing the game I love in the UK, and have an opportunity to finish my career with Middlesex county.

"I would like to thank New Zealand Cricket for supporting me in this decision. I would also like to acknowledge Dan Vettori for his support and confidence in me in recent years, plus the boys I've been on the park with and trained with for whom it has been a pleasure to represent my country with. I have had an opportunity to play with some New Zealand greats and I will only look back with fondness on my time spent with them on and off the park.

"This has been one very tough decision and I walk away with a heavy heart but I know, for certain, that I have made the right decision for me, my wife and my future."

O'Brien took nine wickets in the ongoing Test series against Pakistan, including three wickets in the second innings in Dunedin after dislocating his finger. He has taken 67 wickets in 21 Tests and 14 wickets from 10 ODIs. O'Brien represented Leicestershire in 2009 and took 21 wickets, including a nine-for, in seven first-class matches.

He made his Test debut against Australia in Christchurch in 2005 and his best figures of 7 for 165 came in a drawn Test against West Indies in Napier last December.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said the team would miss O'Brien's energy and enthusiasm to have a go with the ball. "I don't think people quite realise how much the team will miss him in terms of his bowling and the intensity and energy to want the ball at all stages," Vettori said. "Iain has always wanted to bowl and Chris Martin and him have been by go-to-guys since I became captain. To take one of them away, and with Chris getting on a bit, it could be a change of guard with our bowling attack. Over the next few years we will start to fully appreciate Iain's contribution."

Justin Vaughan, New Zealand Cricket's chief executive, said the board was sorry to see O'Brien leave after his contributions to the national team over the last five years. "He has been a consistent performer, and has always given everything to the game, as demonstrated by his tremendous efforts in the past two Test matches. We respect his reasons for retirement and wish him the best. He gives his all on the park, and his genuine commitment and infectious personality are there to see on and off the field."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • chithsabesh on December 12, 2009, 11:36 GMT

    well iain you have done eveything possible to help newzealend now lets just hope someone fills your shoes well

  • kmister12 on December 10, 2009, 4:48 GMT

    Well atleast Tuffey is back. Southee seems in good form but Ian was really starting to do well and get some serious 140 plus pass. We will miss him but good on him.

  • sidmag on December 9, 2009, 2:37 GMT

    I wish Ian O'Brien all the best for his future with cricket, his wife and his family. He was definetely one of the main players of New Zealand Cricket Team, and i am sure the whole team and his fans will miss him after he leaves. Good luck once again.

  • sammyoneboy on December 8, 2009, 1:46 GMT

    Not a good week for fast bowlers in NZland. Or bowlers in general. Somebody wrap up Tim Southee in cotton wool.....CAREFULLY!!!!!

  • SilverDarkHorse on December 7, 2009, 12:34 GMT

    Iain, we will miss you. Good luck to you in whatever you do. our thoughts are always with you.

  • Nas555 on December 7, 2009, 0:04 GMT

    People complaining and judging Iain, his commitment and his decision have no idea what they are talking about. He has all the rights to make this decision and yes it is his life. Somebody said that people in Pakistan put country before their family well I think that is not the case. Family should always come first, if you are not a good husband, father etc how can you become a good citizen? just a thought. Anyway I am from Pakistan and I wish him all the success in life. It is true we wil miss you Iain and your blogs. You are a great cricketer and I hope maybe you can do TV commentary later, I don't know about others but I generally find commentators from NZ very entertaining. I am always amused by their subtle sarcasm..lol Anyway good luck Iain !

  • Alex_Ward on December 6, 2009, 23:24 GMT

    Fair enough. Family must come first at some point. 22 tests as a successful opening bowler and then finishing your career playing county cricket and living with ur wife.. Pretty much living the cricket players dream.

    Would also be good to see if Southee gets some more gameplay and Boult gets a start or two

  • Abdul.Moiz on December 6, 2009, 22:01 GMT

    I feel sorry for Ian, He was performing so much better and He shouldn't have left away Newzeland team write in the middle. Shane Bond might retire too :(. After Pakistan I am fan of NewZealand and I feel really sorry :(

  • indrakolla on December 6, 2009, 7:29 GMT

    Ian i feel sorry,ut your decision is right as family after cricket is very important All the BLOGGER S will miss you.Never again will the tour of NEW zealand will be the same without your BLOGS bye have a great life after cricket

  • kris.ganesh on December 6, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    Its always a tough decision for a committed man like Iain to decide between his national duty and his personal circumstance. Though not talented just like Bond or anyone else his more than cent percent commitment has bought him a team boy image. Wishing you all forms of success in the futur........

  • chithsabesh on December 12, 2009, 11:36 GMT

    well iain you have done eveything possible to help newzealend now lets just hope someone fills your shoes well

  • kmister12 on December 10, 2009, 4:48 GMT

    Well atleast Tuffey is back. Southee seems in good form but Ian was really starting to do well and get some serious 140 plus pass. We will miss him but good on him.

  • sidmag on December 9, 2009, 2:37 GMT

    I wish Ian O'Brien all the best for his future with cricket, his wife and his family. He was definetely one of the main players of New Zealand Cricket Team, and i am sure the whole team and his fans will miss him after he leaves. Good luck once again.

  • sammyoneboy on December 8, 2009, 1:46 GMT

    Not a good week for fast bowlers in NZland. Or bowlers in general. Somebody wrap up Tim Southee in cotton wool.....CAREFULLY!!!!!

  • SilverDarkHorse on December 7, 2009, 12:34 GMT

    Iain, we will miss you. Good luck to you in whatever you do. our thoughts are always with you.

  • Nas555 on December 7, 2009, 0:04 GMT

    People complaining and judging Iain, his commitment and his decision have no idea what they are talking about. He has all the rights to make this decision and yes it is his life. Somebody said that people in Pakistan put country before their family well I think that is not the case. Family should always come first, if you are not a good husband, father etc how can you become a good citizen? just a thought. Anyway I am from Pakistan and I wish him all the success in life. It is true we wil miss you Iain and your blogs. You are a great cricketer and I hope maybe you can do TV commentary later, I don't know about others but I generally find commentators from NZ very entertaining. I am always amused by their subtle sarcasm..lol Anyway good luck Iain !

  • Alex_Ward on December 6, 2009, 23:24 GMT

    Fair enough. Family must come first at some point. 22 tests as a successful opening bowler and then finishing your career playing county cricket and living with ur wife.. Pretty much living the cricket players dream.

    Would also be good to see if Southee gets some more gameplay and Boult gets a start or two

  • Abdul.Moiz on December 6, 2009, 22:01 GMT

    I feel sorry for Ian, He was performing so much better and He shouldn't have left away Newzeland team write in the middle. Shane Bond might retire too :(. After Pakistan I am fan of NewZealand and I feel really sorry :(

  • indrakolla on December 6, 2009, 7:29 GMT

    Ian i feel sorry,ut your decision is right as family after cricket is very important All the BLOGGER S will miss you.Never again will the tour of NEW zealand will be the same without your BLOGS bye have a great life after cricket

  • kris.ganesh on December 6, 2009, 6:38 GMT

    Its always a tough decision for a committed man like Iain to decide between his national duty and his personal circumstance. Though not talented just like Bond or anyone else his more than cent percent commitment has bought him a team boy image. Wishing you all forms of success in the futur........

  • EmmaA on December 6, 2009, 0:40 GMT

    I can not believe some of these comments, how on earth is it anyone's right to be angry and livid at Iain's decision? Everyone has been extremely fortunate to be able to read Iain's blogs over the last season or so and gain valuable insight, but this doesn't mean you actually know him and are in any position to make and judge his life decisions. Obviously there are reasons why he must go home to England (yes - home), and I am sure the decision will be a lot easier if people showed some understanding and support. If you actually knew any more you would understand that it has already been more than a 'few years' that they have been moving back and forth, and I am sure Iain's wife has been more than supportive and accomodating of this lifestyle. Let's enjoy these last few matches and appreciate a great bowler who has clearly given his all for this team and the fans.

  • Avery_Mann on December 5, 2009, 22:58 GMT

    Congrats Iain. Enjoy the settled home life. It's been a pleasure watching you play and reading your blogs. And to the oddly emotional outbursts in the comments here - it's only a game. I think Iain has his priorities right.

  • jazzytoon on December 5, 2009, 22:55 GMT

    Man i am your big fan....i hopr you you wont stop blogging. You are true gem a true cricketer, who nver lies in his blog. You have made a right decision. Fanmily always comes first.have a good life ahead,

  • StevieS on December 5, 2009, 22:31 GMT

    NZ cricket need more players like Iain, those that never show the white flag no matter the situation.

  • rama21 on December 5, 2009, 21:14 GMT

    that is so sad i hate to see this happening i was just lyk wat da hell how can u do such a thing we r gonna suffer now that even middlesex might be able to beat us!!!(kidding) LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gansmith on December 5, 2009, 19:53 GMT

    I really enjoyed watching you play in the series against India. Even though I am Indian fan I enjoyed your honest blogs and fair play. Take care and hope the the best to you and your family in the future.

  • Maria219 on December 5, 2009, 19:45 GMT

    To be honest i am really surprised with Ian decision. It looks like he is settling down in the team really well and now he quits. Sometimes I wonder the commitement of the NZ players towards their country is not 100%. I know the family is important but i think in Pakistan we put country before our family. NZ has such a small pool of players to pick from and decisions like this is not gona help them establish Cricket as a nation wide sport in country. If i am not mistaken same thing happened to Vincent who is also a wonderful players. I really feel sorry for NZ Cricket.

  • themandible on December 5, 2009, 19:43 GMT

    plow - you're a bit unrealistic there mate. its not like he's 26 and made this decision or anything, he's 33 and had what a year left at the most especially with guys like southee and boult coming through, bond back etc. accusing him of being uncommitted is trash mate, if you've watched any game he's played for nz you'll know he's probably one of the most committed players on the park and the one thing you can't accuse him of is showing a lack of ticker. and county money would be way less than what he'll be on with his nz contract. give the guy a break and thank him for his committment instead of lambasting him fro being a turncoat

  • Sudhakaar on December 5, 2009, 18:03 GMT

    Ian, You have been such an inspiration cricketer to watch. Especially I wait for your blog at the end of each days play. It was so superb!! All the best for your career!! Definitely we ll miss you!! Keep blogging!!

  • cru5ader on December 5, 2009, 14:45 GMT

    Mate, gutted to see u go. Ur intensity and passion has made a big impact for NZ cricket in the relatively short time u've been playing. She must be a special woman for u to put aside national honours as a die-hard cricket fan. All the best for the future, and I hope NZ cricket can find someone as passionate as u to replace u.

  • smitshah8890 on December 5, 2009, 14:04 GMT

    Hey Iain I became your fan when I saw u deliver some amazing balls with a dislocated finger recently against Pakistan..!! And now you are leaving the international field..:( Hope NZ find a suitable replacement...

  • acg_DPC on December 5, 2009, 13:32 GMT

    Its so sad to see a country loosing such an important player. Hope so he continues with his blogs and I'm looking forward to hear from him from Middlesex.

  • JaGggu on December 5, 2009, 13:21 GMT

    Good move mate! you were one bad performance away from bein thrown out of the team! Loved your blogs and you had an excellent personality, very down to earth. Not a bad decision to have made, you have played your part and now its time for others, before others start pin pointin your negatives, its better you ended in a good note. Take care!

  • StJohn on December 5, 2009, 12:06 GMT

    She must have one heck of a job in England for you to give up international cricket and playing for your country to move over! Given that you might only have had a few more years of international cricket before retirement, why couldn't she make the sacrifice for you and move back there just for a couple of years or so? Anyway...none of my business of course! Good luck to you and I'm sure you'll both be happy in the UK and you'll do very well at Middlesex. Always a pity to see a player go before his time though - but maybe you could still qualify for England?!

  • philknight on December 5, 2009, 11:40 GMT

    He would be the first to admit he was never going to be the greatest bowler in the world but he made the most out of what he had. He pushes himself every time he bowls and has a massive ticker. As a long time NZ cricket fan I have often felt disappointed in my team and have questioned the dedication of some individuals. I have never felt this about O'Brien and will always admire what he brought to the NZ cricket team.

    When you first came on to the scene I did not rate you but now you would be my second bowler picked after Bond. Thanks for the effort balls and working on your fine leg catching skills. Best of luck for the future and hope all goes well in the UK.

  • KP_84 on December 5, 2009, 10:48 GMT

    It's sad news for New Zealand fans all over, and I suppose it reflects the status and lucrativity of the game in New Zealand. You would never see an Australian walk out of his Test side in these circumstances - all Baggygreen cap bearers are well looked after financially and would not turn their back on their celebrity status high profile as a national team cricketer (which is probably reserved for rugby players in NZ).

  • gorky_s on December 5, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    hey, I love ur bowling and ur blog. hope the blog continues after this.

  • yetigoat on December 5, 2009, 8:45 GMT

    Now Tuffey will be able to strike fear into international batting line ups with his extreme pace on a far more regular basis :(

  • Alexk400 on December 5, 2009, 8:36 GMT

    I think O brien is a good guy. May be he can concentrate on full time as blogger/writer. His bowling was ok. Good luck with what ever he does.

    Vettori need to trust southie and other young bowlers , encourage them to bowl faster. Without Bond , I feel pity of NZ. Their batsman can't bat , bowlers can't take 20 wickets for the runs their batsman scored.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 5, 2009, 8:29 GMT

    Will he try to get selected for England then instead? I don't think any of the current English bowlers are fast/strong enough to bowl into the wind like O'Brien loves doing...

  • geebob on December 5, 2009, 8:14 GMT

    No wonder you wanted to play so badly in the last test. I hope you can end on a high. All the best!

  • The.Neutralist on December 5, 2009, 8:06 GMT

    It is tragic...NZ have lost another player...

  • pchats_2000 on December 5, 2009, 7:55 GMT

    Hey Iain, Rosie is allright, but how about the cricket lovers especially those like me who wait patiently for your blog to appear.

  • sachkaan on December 5, 2009, 7:48 GMT

    hope he will continue writing his blogs!!!!!!!!

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  • sachkaan on December 5, 2009, 7:48 GMT

    hope he will continue writing his blogs!!!!!!!!

  • pchats_2000 on December 5, 2009, 7:55 GMT

    Hey Iain, Rosie is allright, but how about the cricket lovers especially those like me who wait patiently for your blog to appear.

  • The.Neutralist on December 5, 2009, 8:06 GMT

    It is tragic...NZ have lost another player...

  • geebob on December 5, 2009, 8:14 GMT

    No wonder you wanted to play so badly in the last test. I hope you can end on a high. All the best!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 5, 2009, 8:29 GMT

    Will he try to get selected for England then instead? I don't think any of the current English bowlers are fast/strong enough to bowl into the wind like O'Brien loves doing...

  • Alexk400 on December 5, 2009, 8:36 GMT

    I think O brien is a good guy. May be he can concentrate on full time as blogger/writer. His bowling was ok. Good luck with what ever he does.

    Vettori need to trust southie and other young bowlers , encourage them to bowl faster. Without Bond , I feel pity of NZ. Their batsman can't bat , bowlers can't take 20 wickets for the runs their batsman scored.

  • yetigoat on December 5, 2009, 8:45 GMT

    Now Tuffey will be able to strike fear into international batting line ups with his extreme pace on a far more regular basis :(

  • gorky_s on December 5, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    hey, I love ur bowling and ur blog. hope the blog continues after this.

  • KP_84 on December 5, 2009, 10:48 GMT

    It's sad news for New Zealand fans all over, and I suppose it reflects the status and lucrativity of the game in New Zealand. You would never see an Australian walk out of his Test side in these circumstances - all Baggygreen cap bearers are well looked after financially and would not turn their back on their celebrity status high profile as a national team cricketer (which is probably reserved for rugby players in NZ).

  • philknight on December 5, 2009, 11:40 GMT

    He would be the first to admit he was never going to be the greatest bowler in the world but he made the most out of what he had. He pushes himself every time he bowls and has a massive ticker. As a long time NZ cricket fan I have often felt disappointed in my team and have questioned the dedication of some individuals. I have never felt this about O'Brien and will always admire what he brought to the NZ cricket team.

    When you first came on to the scene I did not rate you but now you would be my second bowler picked after Bond. Thanks for the effort balls and working on your fine leg catching skills. Best of luck for the future and hope all goes well in the UK.