O'Brien announces retirement
New Zealand quick Iain O'Brien is retiring from international cricket after the ongoing Test series against Pakistan.
Last Updated: 05/12/09 3:45pm
New Zealand fast bowler Iain O'Brien has announced he will be retiring from international cricket after the ongoing Test series against Pakistan.
The 33-year-old made the emotional announcement after taking 4-66 on day three of the second Test in Wellington.
O'Brien has made the decision in order to spend more time with his English wife Rosie in the UK.
The pair married two-and-a-half years ago but O'Brien said they had only spent nine months together since because of his cricketing commitments.
"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," the seam bowler, playing in his 21st Test at his home ground in Wellington, said.
"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.
"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 has signed with LV County Championship Division Two side Middlesex as their overseas player for next summer.
"That could turn into a three-year deal if I can get residency over there quick enough," he added. "That's something to look forward to. It's some cricket to look forward to and it's not too far from where Rosie and I live."
O'Brien made his international debut against Australia in Christchurch in March 2005 and has since taken 67 wickets in 21 Tests at 22.86 - including his latest four-wicket haul.
His best Test bowling figures came in last year's fixture against the West Indies in Napier where he took 6-75 in a match haul of 7-165.
He described that five-wicket bag and the recent Test win against Pakistan in Dunedin as the two "standout" moments in his career.
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, who has long been a fan of O'Brien's high work-rate and dogged determination, believed his team-mate's contribution would only be fully appreciated in his absence.
"I don't think people quite realise how much the team will miss him in terms of his bowling and the intensity and energy and desire to want the ball at every stage," Vettori said.
"You go through tough times in a Test career but all throughout that Iain has always wanted to bowl.
"For me personally, Chris Martin and him have been my go-to guys since I've been captain.
"So to take one of those away and obviously Chris is getting on a little bit it means it could be a change of guard a little bit with our bowling attack.
"Over the next few years we will start to fully appreciate Iain's contribution to the New Zealand team."
O'Brien also played 10 one-day internationals, taking 14 wickets, and four Twenty20 internationals, taking six wickets.