Iain O’Brien announces retirement

The former New Zealand seamer, Iain O’Brien, has announced his retirement from first-class cricket due to a chronic back injury.

O’Brien retired from international cricket in 2009 to spend more time with his wife in England and this decision prompted Middlesex to sign him as their overseas player for the 2010 season.

He took 23 wickets at an average of 27.30 for Middlesex in division two of the County championship.

However, Injury restricted his appearances for Middlesex to just seven championship matches, one CB40 match (in which he took 4-41 in 8 overs) and a single FP Twenty20 match.

“My cricket ‘ride’ is over. My lower back is bad shape. It’s just had enough, ” said Ian O’brien.

“I’ve been blessed with a career in cricket, something I never took for granted. I was told in 2003, after an x-ray, that I had the lower back of a 60 year old, I was 27. The degeneration, even back then, was well advanced. The radiologist and specialist that read a MRI that I had before the two Test series in South Africa, 2007, suggested I should become a spectator, right then, right NOW. I played that series, both Tests, and have since played my best cricket, sure pain has always been there, I’ve cried in changing rooms and hotels all around the world, but how could I walk away. I’ve got more out of my body and career than I should have. Times up.

“I retired from International cricket in 2009 to have a family. The process of starting a family had taken its toll on both of us. I had to retire. I wanted to retire. I wanted a family more than anything. More than playing for my country, and I never took that privilege lightly. We had been trying for a long time, suffered setbacks, and the only way forward was for me to be around more, not away for 9-10 months of the year. Rosie and I are now blessed with an astonishing little girl. So blessed.

“An employment issue cut my career in the UK short and I didn’t want to give up playing cricket. I knew I still had more to give, I wanted more. Now being back in NZ, I was doing everything I could to get back out for the Wellington Firebirds, and if good enough, back into the NZ team. That was the dream. That was the goal. That was the motivation. I now know I’ll never play for NZ again. It’s too late. The motivation to keep going has dwindled. So, on that note I know it’s time to walk away.

“Injury has cut me short, it’s short of what I wanted this time around, a long way short. Like last time though, I will walk away happy and proud of what I’ve achieved.

“I want to thank Wellington Cricket for the faith they put in me and the people I was working with in my rehab from my surgery. I wouldn’t have gone through all these rehabs without thinking I couldn’t get that Fern back on.”

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