The Heavy Ball

This, that and the other. Mostly the other

Help save the most romantic cricketer ever

From being banished from Lord's. If it helps, this man annoys Ricky Ponting. Join now

Jarrod Kimber

Comments: 1 | Text size: A | A
Iain O'Brien celebrates after castling Kadeer Ali , Middlesex v Gloucestershire, County Championship, Division Two, Lord's, April 27, 2010
When he wasn't on a physio's examining table, Iain O'Brien was busy taking seven-wicket hauls © PA Photos
Enlarge
Related Links

There once was a cricketer more romantic than you, who decided to make his career by bowling into the wind. He had an extra "I" in his name for no reason, liked taking pictures of his own feet, and became Test cricket's greatest blogger along the way.

He is Iain Edward O'Brien, enemy to ghostwriters, saviour of into-the-wind bowling and hero to those he tweets to. While most of us would never have noticed this hardworking Kiwi quick had he not talked about being called rude things by the Gabba crowd, we now know him, and we await his every tweet, blog and commentary stint with the hunger of Bon Jovi fans.

When he left international cricket to be with his wife, international cricket sobbed a big wet soppy tear at losing a true romantic.

Luckily for those who live in the British Isles, it was the cultural hotbed of Matlock that Iain chose to live in with his wife. This meant that while some cricket fans would miss out on him, British fans would get to see him up close and personal when he signed for Middlesex.

It is true that while playing for Middlesex, Iain spent most of his time with his butt in the air (not an Ijaz joke) with physios and doctors manipulating his injured posterior. When he was fit, he would pop in with a seven-wicket haul, but such is the class of this man that even injured he could keep county cricket fans happy with endless jokes about his injury.

Iain is truly a man of the cyber people and also the darling of Lord's. Chatting to po-faced Middlesex fans for hours on end about the team they love, while looking resplendent in their pink colours. He even took to the microphone in between extensive rear-end medical work, working his magic for the BBC London, Five Live Sports Extra and Test Match Sofa.

You might be thinking, is there nothing this man can't do?

Well, he can't bat, and thanks to a scandalous group that also reside at Lord's, he can no longer play county cricket for Middlesex. The ECB (or friends of Allen Stanford as some call them) has decided that even though Iain O'Brien has qualified as an English player through his romantic intentions, and that he could legally work for the ECB, he cannot play cricket in England.

I tried to contact a few other county players to see what they thought about Iain O'Brien's case, but most of them were in South Africa. On holiday, I guess.

Thanks to the ECB's wacky decision, Iain will probably have to play for some side in Matlock. You know what this means: Iain bouncing young villagers due to still being angry at the ECB. Is that what you want? Surely not.

In Ricky Ponting's latest book he takes precious time out of talking about how the media abuse him, just to have a go at Iain O'Brien for an incident at the Adelaide Oval. I think you will agree with me that any man who annoys Ricky that much needs our support.

Let us help keep the most romantic cricketer in the world stay at Middlesex, join the Facebook group.

RSS FeedJarrod Kimber, the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com, is an Australian writer based in London. His new book is now on sale

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 1 
Posted by knowledge_eater on (October 11, 2010, 15:27 GMT)

This is just wrong way to treat lover like him. And he is not even trying to represent England team, it is Middlesex.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email this page to a friend Email Feedback Feedback Print Print
More in The Heavy Ball
RSS FeedAll
  • In Larwood country
    Diary: Our correspondent makes his way from Trent Bridge to Nuncargate to find out more about one of England's most fearsome fast bowlers. By Sidharth Monga
  • Pitching it up
    How a medical charity convinced the MCC and the Swedes to help spread the message of cricket among kids in Afghanistan
  • 'I'd run to watch if Gower was playing'
    Part six: Martin Crowe on David Gower's footwork and the steely determination beneath his elegance
  • A tale of two SSC Tests
    In 1993 and 2006, South Africa's bowlers had vastly different results in Colombo. Brett Schultz and Makhaya Ntini look back
  • When the big boys cry
    Rob Steen: Nothing could have prepared us for James Anderson's sudden outpouring of grief at Leeds, a reaction both spontaneous and moving
  • ESPN
  • ESPNF1
  • Scrum
  • Soccernet