|Player:||DL Vettori, IE O'Brien|
DateLine: 5th December 2009
Iain O'Brien announced his retirement from international cricket today, the New Zealand fast bowler confirming the current test series against Pakistan will be his swan song before he relocates to England.
O'Brien said a desire to be with his wife Rosie was the reason behind his decision.
"Since we married two and a half years ago we have only spent nine months together," he said.
"I'm 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."
O'Brien outlined his future plans after stumps on day three of the second test here at the Basin Reserve, hours after taking four for 66.
He has signed with the Lord's based Middlesex in the English county competition as an overseas player - an interim move before he eventually secures residency.
O'Brien dropped out of the selection frame after an unspectacular debut against Australia - two wickets for 198 from two tests in 2005. He then spent more than 2-1/2 years on the domestic circuit for Wellington before he was summoned to South Africa as a replacement in November 2007. He has practically been a fixture in the test side from that series onwards, often filling the role of third seamer.
O'Brien, a hero of New Zealand's 32-run first test victory in Dunedin last weekend when he took three crucial wickets on the final afternoon, said he would miss the camaraderie of the team environment and paid special tribute to captain Daniel Vettori.
"I would like to acknowledge Dan for his support and confidence in me in recent years.
"It's been a pleasure to represent my country with the boys. I've had the opportunity to play with some of New Zealand's greats and I'll only look back with fondness on my time spent with them on and off the park."
O'Brien is currently playing his 21st test - he has 67 wickets at 34.11. He also played 10 one-day internationals (14 wickets at 34.85) and four Twenty20 internationals before becoming regarded as a test specialist.
Vettori flanked an emotional O'Brien at a media conference and spoke of how much the right armer will be missed.
"I don't think people realise how much we will miss him in terms of his bowling, his intensity and the energy and his desire to want the ball at every stage," Vettori said.
"We got through tough times in a test career and all through that Iain's wanted to bowl.
"Chris Martin and him have been my go-to guys since I've been captain. Chris is getting on a little bit .... there could be a change of guard with our pace attack."
O'Brien is the first member of New Zealand's ageing pace attack to pull stumps. Martin is a well-preserved 34 while doubts remain over Shane Bond's future after his man-of-the-match winning exploits in Dunedin culminated in an abdominal tear.