Cricket Australia contract list 2010-11

Real job beckons for Bracken

Peter English

April 8, 2010

Comments: 52 | Text size: A | A

Nathan Bracken is congratulated on one of his two wickets, England v Australia, 2nd ODI, Lord's, September 6, 2009
Nathan Bracken: "I thought this year, with the amount of one-day cricket and the World Cup in India, that would really improve my chances of getting a contract" © Getty Images

The messages to Nathan Bracken telling him it's time to get a real job have been light-hearted, but he knows his mates are right. Bracken lost his Cricket Australia contract on Wednesday and will spend the winter without the security and status of the precious item he has owned for most of the past decade.

At 32, having overcome some serious knee operations, he is effectively a state player despite being ranked as high as No.2 last year in the ICC's one-day list. Bracken was surprised by the decision, figuring his limited-overs talents would be relied on heavily in the next 12 months, but he has been over-run by a group of younger, fitter and faster bowlers.

He is not angry when he speaks about his omission and at times sounds like he is already in retirement, but he is definitely not stepping down. Just stepping back after five Tests and 116 ODIs, and beginning to think about what life might be like away from his bowling mark.

It doesn't mean he's taking the news well. "It's very disappointing to lose it," he told Cricinfo. "As David Hussey said in the paper, he enjoys proving people wrong. I'm in a position where I've done that before and it feels pretty good. I want to prove that me being ranked No.1 in the world [in 2008] was no fluke, to show that I can get back there."

The cross from Andrew Hilditch and his selectors "changes things dramatically" for Bracken, who was planning to be at full fitness for the tour of the British Isles in June. He points out he was the one-day player of the year at the 2009 Allan Border Medal, but is realistic enough to know that if he heads to England during the winter it will be for the county Twenty20 competition.

"I thought this year, with the amount of one-day cricket and the World Cup in India, that would really improve my chances of getting a contract," he said. "The World Cup years are usually more in favour of the one-day players, but it didn't quite go through as I thought it might."

He has already turned down a T20 contract with Northamptonshire for the winter because it clashed with Australia's itinerary and his management is now scouting for other opportunities on and off the field. Having started a communications degree before his international career blossomed, he would enjoy a role in the media.

Ideally he'd love to be a sideline reporter or a behind-the-scenes man who details the extensive preparation of high-profile players. "Missing a Cricket Australia contract gives me these sorts of opportunities," he said. Support has come quickly from his followers on Twitter and Facebook and 47% of voters in a poll on Cricinfo's Australia home page believe he didn't deserve to lose his deal.

Bracken isn't sure what happens next in New South Wales' contract process but he does know about the IPL auction later in the year. Injuries and Australian commitments ruled him out of the first two tournaments and his contract for this event was bought out by Bangalore during his knee rehabilitation. He is well-suited to a role as a Twenty20 bowler for hire, giving away less than seven runs an over and achieving a strike-rate of 19.8 during 19 internationals.

While he was away from the Australian team Ryan Harris, Clint McKay and Doug Bollinger grew in popularity and won contracts along with Brett Lee and Shaun Tait. At New South Wales there is impressive younger talent in Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Trent Copeland. The environment has changed and Bracken is aware of it.

"I've been lucky to be on a CA contract for the last eight or nine years and it's been very good to be on them," he said. "Missing out is never a great state to be in ... It's a chance to get back and re-set goals. It's a time to sit back and have a look at a few things."

He is determined to be ready for New South Wales' first game in October and the overall aim remains. "I want my contract back, plain and simple."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (April 11, 2010, 5:11 GMT)

bracken easiky should be in. the current bowlers get there good stats from versing amatuer teams, put the against india n see

Posted by vigneshvinu on (April 9, 2010, 15:20 GMT)

Bad luck for Bracken, after Mcgrath he is the only bowler who uses his brain not speed, he his very handful player in subcontinent pitches,but we cannot tell that ACB has been made wrong decision, bcoz bracken is out of action for more than a year. Now, bracken has to work hard to get back the aussies team and it will be difficult for him to complete ahead of new bowlers like Bollinger,harris, siddle & of course johnson who are currently performing welll.

Posted by PaulosBoys on (April 9, 2010, 13:26 GMT)

Bracken is the best limited over fast bowler who uses his brain among the aussie bowling LOT.With the t-20 madness which we are seeing these days i think CA contract denial is a blessing in disguise for him. He could be a part of KFC bigbash, Pro-40, UK T-20 and IPL without any australian national commitments. Good luck Nathan!!!

Posted by   on (April 9, 2010, 11:47 GMT)

Though its good to know that youngsters are doing well, but Aussie's need some experience. I think Doug and Ryan will be good bowler in seaming condition but they might suffer in one-day or T20 as they are one dimensional bowler and doesn't have as much variety as Bracken. They will bowl well and get wicket if Tait generates some pace from one end for them to work from other. It would be interesting to see how Doug and Ryan reacts if they are being taken to cleaners in sub-continent during World cup. I think they need Bracken for sub-continent.

Posted by gyanesh_don on (April 9, 2010, 11:07 GMT)

brett lee and shoaib akhtar are the two most over rated fast bowlers of recent times, while akhtar is no longer in pak team, why is lee there in place of bracken and clark is beyond imagination.

Posted by Samdanh on (April 9, 2010, 10:46 GMT)

I am surprised at the exclusion of Nathan Bracken and Stuart Clark. Australia would have done better to have these players in their team especially for the World T20 inWest Indies where the pitches are expected to be slower and balls are expected to keep low. I am also afraid the chosen attack is one dimensional-all pace (leave alone the one spinner) which would only help batsmen as the ball will come at the right speed for attacking strokeplay. On such slow wickets Stuart Clark's nagging accuracy, and variations in speed and length from both Stuart Clark and Bracken would have been quite handy and very effective. At least at present it looks like the mess up in selection that happened in the all crucial Ashes series' last Test match in 2009, is all set to be repeated. As an Australia supporter I can only hope that the selection decisions this time click rather than fail again. Best Wishes to Australian team

Posted by 5860733 on (April 9, 2010, 7:13 GMT)

CA is really making the mess of their best playerz .... look at Bret Lee !! he is the worst bowler in the Ipl !! so y he z given the contract ... BRacken is my favourite bowler and u dnt hav a place in the teamm for him....!!

Posted by shakir23 on (April 9, 2010, 5:33 GMT)

aww. nathan bracken is one of my favourite aussie bowlers and its been sad he hasnt been given a contract

Posted by mtambie on (April 9, 2010, 4:32 GMT)

Bracken has 174 ODI wickets at 24.36 with a econ. of 4.41; other cricketing nations could only wish they had a fast bowling choice like Bracken. I think he got a raw deal, the ACB made a wrong and harsh decision.

Posted by __PK on (April 9, 2010, 2:23 GMT)

Good call by CA. Bracken's six-times-per-over slower ball was starting to become easy pickings for top class batsmen - just look at his stats from 2009 onwards. The South Africans in particularly saw him coming a long way off. No doubt he was a fine ODI bowler prior to then, but unless he comes up with another trick, he's history. Mind you, most Oz cricketers fire after getting dropped from the CA contract list, but that doesn't necessarily mean it was a bad call dropping them. We have a long line of quicks who are nearly ready to make a big impact and we need to give them all the exposure we can.

Posted by CSpiers on (April 9, 2010, 0:46 GMT)

Not a surprising decision really, Bollinger and Harris have had some seriously good results in the last few months. Along with Lee and Johnson, that's a pretty seriously dangerous and FAST attack, they all bowl 140+ regularly.

Btw PottedLambShanks I can't wait to see your face when you see how much Harris and Bollinger will swing the ball in English conditions. don't count your chickens before they hatch..

Posted by bonner on (April 8, 2010, 21:59 GMT)

A simple swap - Bracken for Lee. Maybe Bracks will qualify by playing - you'd pick him over McKay in a WC year surely.

Posted by Q72941 on (April 8, 2010, 21:30 GMT)

FICA should have some good lawyers looking in to matter like these, to really give the supports needed in such cases. This must feel like a cold slap that he doesn't deserve.

They could have at least let him know ahead of time so he would not have let go the opportunity with Northamptonshire.

Posted by sanzo5 on (April 8, 2010, 20:14 GMT)

why no to bracken???? he is a buch better bowler in any format of the game.... he hs the ability to bowl long spells as well... and why would people consider david warner for T20 alone... he could be a better ODI batsmen too....

Posted by sancruizer on (April 8, 2010, 14:16 GMT)

Thats very wrong on ACB's decision. Nathan Bracken is one of the best Australia produced in the last few years, when all the best bowlers like Grath, Lee, gillespie were absent, Bracken delivered for Aussies. I wish him the best and i am sure he would make it back to the Aussie Team....Bracken why dont you start playing for Our country...India. Just dont waste time with the Aussies..You are not retired still rock

Posted by wanderer1 on (April 8, 2010, 14:15 GMT)

He could get a proper job like making pies, I bet he'd be good at that. Oooooooooh, harsh! But he was a decent bowler, always felt he never really got the opportunity to shine at Test level, and was pigeon holed into a limited overs bowler too quickly. On the back of his ODI performances he should have gotten a few more Test.

Posted by bobagorof on (April 8, 2010, 14:05 GMT)

While this doesn't necessarily spell the end of Bracken's international career, it's a shame that Australia has decided not to renew the contract of one of their few remaining swing bowlers. Genuine swing is one area of Australia's bowling attack that is sadly lacking, and it flows through to a weakness in batting against the swinging ball.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2010, 13:45 GMT)

I can't believe that Brett Lee gets a contract and Bracken doesn't. I can understand that Clark is getting to his use-by date... but Bracken is younger and fitter than Lee.

Posted by PottedLambShanks on (April 8, 2010, 13:34 GMT)

"Ryan Harris, Clint McKay and Doug Bollinger"

As an England fan I am salivating at the prospect of watching Strauss, Cook, Colly and KP fill their boots against those three bowlers. I am actually a little insulted that they are all Australia have to offer. It's going be carnage!

Posted by duoaudshah on (April 8, 2010, 13:25 GMT)

Maybe he should somehow figure out he has a long lost West Indian relative, and gain citizenship to some country, maybe Guyana...and come play for West Indies! We can do with a bowler of his caliber if the Aussies dont want him! Nash did it!:)

Posted by SHARK810 on (April 8, 2010, 13:07 GMT)

I heard him and Ponting had a lovers tiff...

Posted by CarlH on (April 8, 2010, 13:03 GMT)

I thinks people/selectors need to stop treating players like commodities, used when needed, and banished when it "appears" that their "use by" date is passed. I would not hurt to give a guy like Bracken at least a one year contract, thereby saying thanks for your service, and giving him time to try and make it pack into the team or putting himself in a place where he could arrange things for life after cricket..

It is time cricket boards show some more respect and appreciation for cricketers who worked hard and excelled, not throw them under the bus when their careers are waxing cold

Posted by HaveYouGotYourBox on (April 8, 2010, 12:56 GMT)

If I was him, I'd love to spend a bit more more time with my wife. What a hottie she is! Google <Hayley Bracken's dress> and see what I am talking about. Only problem is, if he is not playing, he and Hayley are not going to awards nights and her hotness is not being photographed and published.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2010, 12:44 GMT)

what a waste of talent by AUS..bracken not in? weird!

Posted by AAJS on (April 8, 2010, 12:27 GMT)

First thing he needs to do is get a proper hair cut .... big girl!!!

Posted by   on (April 8, 2010, 12:24 GMT)

Australia has many upcoming talented bowlers so this is the right decision for bracks anyhow its kinda sad that the best odi bowler of 18 months ago all of the sudden looking for a job.I think he still can play and earn $$ by playing for t20 leagues allover the world like IPL

Posted by knowledge_eater on (April 8, 2010, 12:08 GMT)

Haha in less than week my words were proved .. Deja Vu kind of thing again, I commented on article about Ponting wanting Bond to be back in Test, well well. I told there it is easy to make a statement as a Captain or being batsman. Try rotating your shoulder and run rigorously for 60 balls or 150 balls per day in test. Its easy to make a statement, very very tough to do. I am not against Test match, it is core of Cricket. But, when you find over 30's bowlers thinking of playing shorter formant, STOP judging them. You never know which will be his/her last match. Good Luck Nathan welcome to Mean World of Cricket.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2010, 11:54 GMT)

cricket australia sucks..... he is the master class bowler of all times...... how can they do it wid him? its ridiciuos........ he was the best, is the ebst and will be the best... so except sucking, just get him into the teams...

Posted by strangebrew1967 on (April 8, 2010, 11:46 GMT)

The whole idea of the contracts system was to lock in players and not have them poached like the rebel tours in the 1980s and WSC in the 1970s. IF Nathan Bracken and Stuart Clark can't get onto the field at the moment, they're not of any use to anyone least of all the Australian team. The only Aussie fast bowler who played consistently well without getting injured was Glenn McGrath and most other fast bowlers fade badly by time they are 33. They simply aren't a long term prospect and Nathan Bracken had his opportunities to get into the Test team. The one thing I cant fathom is how Shaun Tait is such a protected species given he breaks down more often than a bad Eastern Bloc car! Bowling quick is one thing - bowling well against decent opposition for more than four overs is another. HE cant even bowl in a domestic one-day game because its too much and he gets a contract? He's about as tough as a soggy piece of lettuce.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2010, 11:25 GMT)

Nathan Bracken has made a fine contribution to Australian cricket but his time was up. As reported, younger and fitter bowlers are ahead in the pecking order. Moreover, I think international batsman have woken up to his changes of pace. The South Africans (particularly Alby Morkel) seemed to handle without too many problems when they won the ODI series in Australia early last year. For what it's worth, I can't understand the selectors not applying the same approach to Brett Lee.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (April 8, 2010, 11:05 GMT)

Nathan Bracken was brought in as a left arm quick who was meant to mature into an Ashes campaigner. Somehow that never happened but then years later he became a brilliant ODI bowler. Then, after just a few months of less than ideal returns and he is now out of it - for good it seems.

Realistically, Bracken still is ideal for an Ashes campaign and I feel that had he been in the team for the 2009 Ashes then Australia would have won. That he performed so well in one dayers, when that is not his forte, was impressive, but he really should be given a decent shot at a test berth. While his test average isn't good, considering the matches that he played in realistically he did pretty decently. At 32 he is far from retirement age and I think that he should be focussing on tests and try to get in on that level rather than worrying about ODIs and T20Is.

Posted by jamrith on (April 8, 2010, 10:10 GMT)

Got to take your hat off to the Aussie selectors. they are completely objective no sentiment no past baggage. Could never happen in the sub-continent.

Posted by HorseH on (April 8, 2010, 9:59 GMT)

Bracken has been ripped-off. It was a very soft sentimental (possibly marketing related) decision to give Lee a contract - there's little that's happened in the last 12 months that indicates Lee is going to be a force at international level again. If he can't bowl 145+ and swing the new ball away and old ball in, he's cannon fodder. I would like to take a bet that Bracken (providing he wants to play on) plays more ODI and T20 cricket for Aus in the next 12 months than Lee or Tait does. Bracken's skills and value are far less age dependent than Lee's. Lee and Tait both need perfectly tuned and fit bodies and then some futher "star alignment" to be effective. Bracken has far more tricks up his sleave. Tait will always be someone who has very good days and very bad days. My guess is that he has more very bad days ahead of him than the other. Bracken also has a great BMT - Big Match Temperament. This was a quality of Lee's and its something Tait will never possess.

Posted by rrajsingh on (April 8, 2010, 9:42 GMT)

Nathan should not get disappointed..It is Australia..not the Indian Subcontinent where you dont stand a chance if you have crossed 30..and more importantly, he has been overlooked not because of poor performances but because of injuries..I am sure he would get a chance again..

Posted by TopDogg on (April 8, 2010, 9:39 GMT)

Jus do what andrew symonds is doing.. travel the globe playing limited overs cricket. He's a good enough T20 bowler to do that. Cricket australia are looking to the future now. there isnt much room left for players aged 30+ in the australian side. with the exception of a couple of batsman. once they get injured for more than a series or 2. they will be in the same situation as bracken clarke and lee. I.e michael hussey.

Posted by bjcm12 on (April 8, 2010, 9:19 GMT)

Bracks - cross over to Sri Lanka you can go behind politicians and retain your place.

Posted by Arthaurian on (April 8, 2010, 8:15 GMT)

If Australia are not going to utilize such talents as Nathan Bracken and Stuart Clark, then rather loan them to another international team.

Posted by BigHeartUTS on (April 8, 2010, 8:05 GMT)

Move on and retire. With out being rued Nathan is beyond his used by date. And also if 47% of people think he was hard done by that means 53% recon the right decision was made LOL. Nathan's fom in the state cricket at the end of last year was poor so retire mate!

Posted by popcorn on (April 8, 2010, 8:03 GMT)

Totally incorrect to leave out Nathan Bracken. He has been a match winner at the ODI World Cup held in the West Indies 2007 and Champions Trophy,held in India 2006.Bracken has come back after knee surgery nd bowling reasonablty well at state level.Brett Lee,on the other hand, has not done anything Elbow surgery is far more difficult to come back from. Shaun Tait is erratic.One of the two could have been dropped, retaing Bracks.

Posted by DTAI on (April 8, 2010, 8:01 GMT)

I wonder how much Bracken's predicament is brought about by cricket Australia's embarrassment at his wife and her antics.

Posted by Rajesh. on (April 8, 2010, 7:53 GMT)

it's amazing sometimes how Australia affords to leave out such quality players........ can't think of such a thing in India. But Bracken may still have something to offer to the Australian team but the worrying factor is that after his injuries he seems to have lost a bit of pace....

Posted by NeilCameron on (April 8, 2010, 7:53 GMT)

Bracken needs to get playing first class cricket again. It's ironic but he can't get picked unless he performs but he can't perform unless he gets picked. He needs to find an English county to employ him this northern summer for him to bowl hundreds of overs for, then return to play for NSW (or whichever state would want him - Tasmania's bowling attack is very thin without Hilfenhaus and Geeves). Hopefully he can catch the selectors' eyes quickly while playing in England, or if not then playing in the Sheffield Shield. If Australia keep ignoring him after a season of county cricket and a season in the Sheffield Shield, then I'm sure he'll be able to pick up an IPL contract easily.

Posted by jonesy2 on (April 8, 2010, 7:25 GMT)

what a load of crap. it doesnt matter if you dont have a contract players can still be selected. if bracks is fit and firing he is probably the best limited overs bowler in the game he will be in an australian squad dont worry about that.

Posted by osee_bhai on (April 8, 2010, 7:24 GMT)

He shouldn't give up, I think he has a decent chance for the world cup next year. He was the best ODI bowler, and aussie's new crop of bowlers haven't been severly tested in ODIs, let alone in the subcontinent. With Brett Lee out of form and Johnson always liable for being taken for runs in shorter formats, I think a healthy inform Bracken will certainly help Australia.

Posted by nijurkrishna on (April 8, 2010, 6:46 GMT)

sorry mate. competetion is very tough iin Aussies. Practise well you got lot of cricket ahead. I P L, County Cricket & of Course Australian Cap................ good luck:- Niju Radhakrishnan

Posted by Josephus72 on (April 8, 2010, 6:40 GMT)

Andy G is a great one day bowler because he really thinks about every delivery. So he's often very useful towards the end of an innings and rarely allows the batsmen to throw the bat willy nilly. I think there was a point there when he was frustrated and lashed out a little at the selectors publicly in relation to his test chances and Australian selectors have traditionally been very prickly about those sort of things. It might have cost him a spot when the competition was pretty even. When Australia was unable to remove Jimmy and Monty to win the first Ashes test in Cardiff I remember thinking that they needed someone like Bracken who could be quite innovative in such situations.

Good luck Bracksy - at least you can spend some more time gazing in open-mouthed wonder at how incredibly fit your wife is. I know I do.

Posted by rashidkp on (April 8, 2010, 6:16 GMT)

You are one of the best. Focus, again you can come back and surprise the world.

Posted by   on (April 8, 2010, 6:14 GMT)

I think it was the head-band that finally did it!!!


Seriously though I understand his disappointment and wish him well in the IPL, he'd be a great acquisition for many teams.

Posted by Sanjeevakki on (April 8, 2010, 5:52 GMT)

Dont Worry Bracken in the Next IPL Auction Kumble and Dravid will purchase you again for RCB:-) They Know how good you are!!! Recover well and train well.

Posted by asimpanda on (April 8, 2010, 5:02 GMT)

Bracken was very much the quintessentail one day bowler.His penchant for hiting the block hole at will coupled with his subtle changes of pace made him a certainity and a vital cog not only in one dayers but also in aussies t 20 scheme of things...but for his injury he certainly had the CA contract in a platter..But then u cant blame CA as they of late have a amazing bench strength bowling wise. wish he does well in watever he endeavours in...

Posted by aspurohit on (April 8, 2010, 4:58 GMT)

Great Positive Attitude , Nathan...Every body has to move on in life. Cricket is a great game and has got many options to choose from. All the Best...

Posted by AFRIDI450 on (April 8, 2010, 4:40 GMT)

Honestly speaking, u have 2 feel sorry 4 him... wasnt he just da world no.2 ODI bowler nd world's no.1 ODI bowler during early 2009 nd 2008.... this is just unfair on him by CA but dis shows us da immense talent Australia has ryt now

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