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Blackcaps Pay Tribute To O'brien

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Blackcaps Pay Tribute To O'brien

Iain O'Brien's BLACKCAPS team mates have paid tribute to the 33-year old medium pace bowler, who retired from international cricket today. O'Brien came off the park at Napier after the BLACKCAPS drew the third Test against Pakistan, bringing to a close his five-year career as a key member of the team's Test bowling attack. His skipper for much of that time, Daniel Vettori, said O'Brien's commitment and consistency would leave a significant gap in the BLACKCAPS attack. "People probably don't appreciate his contribution to the team over the last few years," Vettori said. "He's become one of our major strike weapons, and personally for me as captain, he and Chris Martin have been a huge asset to the side and he's going to be sorely missed." O'Brien has bowled close to 5000 balls wearing the BLACKCAPS shirt - and standing behind the stumps to most of those deliveries has been wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum. McCullum said O'Brien has developed as a bowler over the course of his career. "He probably got quicker as he went on, and some of the spells he's bowled in the latter part of his career have been pretty devastating," McCullum said. "He was the guy that you'd say would always give you the energy and the effort you require." A colleague in both the BLACKCAPS and the Wellington Firebirds, Grant Elliott, said O'Brien has always given everything to his game. "He really puts his heart on the line, whether he's playing for New Zealand or Wellington," Elliott said. "He's a great competitor, he's been a great bowler and he's achieved a good Test career - it's a pity to see him go." O'Brien announced his retirement from international cricket during the second Test in Wellington last week, saying that he planned to move to the United Kingdom to live with his wife, Rosie. He plans to play county cricket for Middlesex in the coming UK summer. He acknowledged the support of and confidence of Vettori and his team mates. "It has been a pleasure to represent my country alongside these guys," he said. "I have had an opportunity to play with some New Zealand greats and I will only look back with fondness on my time spent with them on and off the park. "I have loved dearly playing for the BLACKCAPS. It has been an amazing experience and something I will treasure forever." O'Brien played his first two Tests in 2005, and has been a regular member of the BLACKCAPS bowling attack since the 2007/08 season. He points to two recent performances as among his most memorable for the national side. Last summer against the West Indies at McLean Park, Napier, he picked up six wickets for 75 in the Windies first innings: "that was pretty cool," he said. His other standout moment was in the first Test of this season's Pakistan series in Dunedin when his three for 63 in the second innings helped earn New Zealand a victory. O'Brien's international bowling record stands at: Tests (22 matches) Balls Mdns Runs Wkts BB Ave 5wI 10wM SRate Econ 4394 158 2429 73 6-75 33.27 1 0 60.65 3.37

One Day Internationals (10 matches) Balls Mdns Runs Wkts BB Ave 4wI 5wI SRate Econ 453 3 488 14 3-68 34.85 0 0 32.35 6.46

Twenty20 Internationals (4 matches) Balls Mdns Runs Wkts BB Ave 4wI 5wI SRate Econ 78 0 116 6 2-30 19.33 0 0 13.00 8.92

His highest batting score in international cricket was an accomplished innings of 31 in his second to last Test, against Pakistan in Wellington. More statistics and details on Iain O'Brien's international careers are available at the New Zealand Cricket archive website: http://www.blackcaps.co.nz/archive/players.aspx

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