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Seamer Iain O'Brien quits New Zealand for Middlesex

Iain O'Brien
O'Brien will join Middlesex and hopes to obtain UK residency

New Zealand seamer Iain O'Brien will retire from international cricket at the end of the current Test series against Pakistan.

O'Brien, 33, who has taken 67 wickets in 21 Tests, will join Middlesex as their overseas player for 2010 after spending last season at Leicestershire.

"It has been playing on my mind for a long time," he explained.

"I have loved playing for the Black Caps but my wife lives and works in the UK, and my immediate future is there."

The right-armer, who is also a prolific blogger, made his Test debut in 2005, taking a career-best 6-75 against West Indies in Napier in December 2008.

He has also appeared in 10 one-day internationals and four Twenty20 internationals, and his announcement to quit came after the Kiwis lost the second Test in his home city of Wellington to level the series at 1-1.

606: DEBATE
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The final Test begins in Napier on 11 December - and O'Brien stated that "being on the road for 11 months of the year" was something he could no longer cope with.

"I've placed cricket in front of everything else, but it's now time to put Rosie first and start a family. Since we married two and a half years ago, we've only spent nine months together," he explained.

"I intend to keep playing the game I love, and have an opportunity to finish my career with Middlesex which is very exciting.

"That could turn into a three-year deal if I can get residency over there quickly enough."

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said: "We are sorry to see Iain go, but we respect his reasons for retirement and wish him the best."

Captain Daniel Vettori added: "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."

And reflecting on his new signing, Middlesex managing director of cricket Angus Fraser explained: "Finding an overseas fast bowler who is available for most, if not all of a season is a huge thing for me.

"I was not keen on someone who briefly flits in and then disappears elsewhere - Iain has the potential to fulfil this requirement."



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see also
Pakistan victory levels series
06 Dec 09 |  Cricket
New Zealand add O'Brien to squad
30 Sep 09 |  New Zealand
O'Brien does the damage again
10 Jul 09 |  Counties
Leics complete deal for O'Brien
17 Mar 09 |  Leicestershire
Leek sign Kiwi Test star O'Brien
27 Aug 08 |  Cricket
Kiwi pair in line for Test debuts
02 Mar 05 |  New Zealand


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