New Zealand cricket news December 5, 2009

Iain O'Brien to retire from international cricket

Cricinfo staff

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

  • Kelly 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.

  • Siddharth 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.

  • Sam 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!!!!!

  • Auchi 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.

  • Naseeruddin 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 Anyway good luck Iain !

  • Alex 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 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 :(

  • indra 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

  • 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........

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