Australia news January 29, 2011

Knee injury forces Nathan Bracken to retire

Nathan Bracken, who was ranked the world's No.1 ODI bowler in 2008, has finally bowed to his aching body and retired from all forms of the game. Bracken, 33, last played for Australia in England two years ago and has since suffered from a chronic knee injury that has limited his appearances for New South Wales.

Bracken, a left-arm bowler, played five Tests but was best known as a suffocating limited-overs specialist. His 174 ODI wickets places him sixth on Australia's list and his contribution was often under-rated.

He could swing the ball early in the innings but was equally effective at the death and was a key member of the 2007 World Cup triumph in the Caribbean. In 2009, he was Australia's ODI player of the Year after being picked in the ICC's World ODI Team the previous year.

Bracken may face another operation just to stabilise the joint to ensure he can have "good use of the knee in the future". "I really have enjoyed my cricket both internationally and domestically, but unfortunately knee injuries have taken their toll," he said. "I have had a strong rehabilitation from my last operation and have also looked at altering my bowling action to reduce any further damage in my knee, which would have enabled me to continue playing. But it hasn't responded."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of ESPNcricinfo

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