Veteran allrounder Jacob Oram has severed his ties with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to pursue a career as a professional Twenty20 player.
Oram, 34, secured an early release from his NZC playing agreement, believing he can no longer commit to its requirements. He will continue to play T20 cricket for Central Districts and in other international competitions.
The decision doesn’t officially end an international career spanning 12 years but it is unlikely the tall, hard-hitting middle order batsman and medium pace seamer will add to his 33 Tests, 160 one-day internationals and 36 Twenty20 internationals.
“This was a very difficult decision but in recent weeks I have come to the conclusion that I can no longer make a full-time commitment to NZC,” he said in announcing the move on Saturday.
“Various factors have led me to make this decision including my age, the stage of my career and the impending birth of my second child.
“I really enjoy the Twenty20 format and see it as a way to stay involved in cricket for a while longer.”
A variety of injuries dogged the latter part of Oram’s career. He toured Sri Lanka last month but was only fit enough to play in one T20 and one ODI.
Oram in his prime was best known as an game-breaking ODI exponent, making his debut in that form at home to Zimbabwe in January 2001.
His 2434 runs at an average above 24 comprised one century and 13 50s, often late in an innings when his trademark power hitting was required. He also took 173 wickets at 29.17.
A Test debut arrived late in 2002 and he went on to score 1780 runs at a good average of 36.32 while taking 60 wickets at 33.05.
NZC chief executive David White accepted Oram’s request and stressed the player hadn’t retired.
“Form and fitness permitting the selectors may well consider him for matches or events in the future,” White said.
“However, that said, it is appropriate for me to thank Jacob for his excellent contribution to New Zealand Cricket over the past 12 years.”
Another player will now be offered an NZC contract through to the period ending on July 31.