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Ian Butler, the former New Zealand fast bowler, has announced his retirement from the game. In a career blighted by debilitating back injuries, Butler played eight Tests, 26 ODIs and 19 T20 internationals, and his last match for his country was against England at The Oval in June 2013.
"It is time to accept that the body has had enough," said Butler, still only 32. "Sad but exciting times, hopefully the next chapter in life will be more family, friends and partner friendly."
Butler made his debut against England at Christchurch in 2002 as a quick 20-year old but his career seemed to be over following a serious back injury after an ODI against Australia in 2004. He cut down on speed and attempted to reinvent himself as a batsman at Northern Districts.
Improved fitness and success with a move to Otago in 2008-09 revived his international career, and he made his comeback against Australia in February 2009. He had a final, short-lived stint when he played a few T20s against England in 2013. He enjoyed a productive time at Otago, with 87 first-class and 58 List A wickets.
"Ian has given fantastic service to us since coming down here in 2008," Otago Cricket CEO Ross Dykes said. "At that point his international career was seemingly over, but the way he dealt with his debilitating injuries and his exacting preparation saw him reinvent himself as a quality allrounder and become a 'go to' bowler for both the Volts and the BLACKCAPS. His ability to 'finish' games with both bat and ball set him apart as a sought after specialist in the short forms of the game.
"He was a quality cricketer and is a quality individual whose strong values and exacting standards will add much to whatever he does in the future. We wish him every success in life after cricket and thank him for an outstanding contribution to the recent successes of the Volts."