Stranded Kiwi pacer set to be reunited with family as cricket community steps in

By: Sports Desk |

Published: March 27, 2020 4:31:18 pm

Iain O’Brien played 22 Tests, 10 ODIs and four T20Is for New Zealand. (NZPA)

Iain O’Brien, the former New Zealand cricketer who had been stranded away from his family and had turned to crowdfunding to buy a flight ticket home, has raised all the money he needed from the cricket community.

“This is quite difficult because I’m not used to these kind of things,” O’Brien said on his YouTube channel. “But I woke up this morning, maybe for the third or fourth time in my life I cried before I got out of bed… I thank you all so much for your contributions. It’s completely oxymoron, but I’m speechless and I really don’t know what to say. I’m just so grateful…thank you and my wife thanks you,” he said on Friday.

Trying to return home to the UK, where the 43-year-old now lives with his wife, had proved to be a nightmare. Three of his flights to the UK had been cancelled, with the coronavirus pandemic having caused widespread disruptions in international travelling.

He then turned to the desperate measure of turning to Twitter for help. “Ok, so trying to raise some money to pay for this flight back to the UK, O’Brien wrote on his handle. “I have an idea. If anyone would love a 20 min Skype/vid call, one on one, talk about all things cricket, politics, sausages, mental health, Sachin, etc. “If you’d like that & can spare a couple of $, DM me,” he had posted.

O’Brien had said he was especially anxious about returning home as his wife suffers from a lung condition which places her in the category of people especially vulnerable to COVID-19. “This virus could kill her,” he had written on his PayPal page. “I need to get back ASAP to help her out and keep her safe.”

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