Australia news January 29, 2011

Knee injury forces Nathan Bracken to retire

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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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Piyush_Advani on January 31, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    He was an under-rated bowler,maybe because he didn't play too many tests.His swingers were the best,equally good as Bond,Lee,Pollock and others.

  • Meety on January 31, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    @ VivGilchrist - right you are re: injuries, funny how the poms have bleated on a few occassions this series about them having a 2nd string bowling line up. I do like the idea of a specialist coaches for the 3 formats or combined short format. @Okakaboka - I suppose if you go on the premise of "you're only as good as your last game" - Nannes looks pretty good in ODIs. I don't think he's been that great in List As this year - but probably deserves a shot at the 50/50 WC instead of Tait. I am a big fan of Stuey Clark - but he was definately a better Test bowler than ODI. I don't rate Siddle for ODIs - keep as a Test specialist where a bit of endurance counts. Siddle is the sort of bowler who will bust a gut all day (plenty of practise against the Poms!), - I think that is better suited to Tests. I think he bowls to straight (middle & leg stump) for ODIs. I mean after 17 games an economy 0f 4.6 rpo does not make up for a S/Rate of 50. MJ has a S/R of 32 & eco of 5rpo - I'd take MJ anyday!

  • anur8g on January 31, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    Sad News for every Aussie fan.

  • timmyc1983 on January 31, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    Thanks Bracks, great Aussie bowler and great for NSW too :) enjoy 'retirement'

  • on January 31, 2011, 0:35 GMT

    its sad that the game is losing some really good players.bracken was a very under-rated bowler..infact when the game was dominated by the mcgraths, the lee's...brackens role was very crucial....his performance would quite often go unoticed...cricketers around the world would acknoweldge the fact that he was quite a challenging bowler to deal with..we admire his contributions not only for the aussie team but for the game he has been a great embassador...!!!

  • on January 30, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    very sad to see such a great player leaving cricket due to injuries... :( I really liked his bowling... He was always a great danger for gd batsmen... and was a great asset for AU after MG...will miss him during AU matches..

  • msankar on January 30, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    He is a nice and talented player..... Its very sad to hear this news..... Definitely we need this kind of player for this modern cricket.... Wish him very good luck in the future....

  • on January 30, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    I totally agree , he is surely one of the best swingers , but not satisfactory exit from international cricket , he should have retired like Ntini (another gr8 bowler) did . He was surely always under rated. I would luv to se him as Indian bowling coach... maybe he can teach indian bowlers some bowling....in the end HATS OFF to one of the greatest bowler,.. will always be remembered......

  • on January 30, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    My fav lefty bowler in the world.. sad to see him retire.. HE was one of the guy who made aussie team freaking strong!

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 30, 2011, 2:32 GMT

    He should have played more test cricket than he did. A pity he has retired.

  • Piyush_Advani on January 31, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    He was an under-rated bowler,maybe because he didn't play too many tests.His swingers were the best,equally good as Bond,Lee,Pollock and others.

  • Meety on January 31, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    @ VivGilchrist - right you are re: injuries, funny how the poms have bleated on a few occassions this series about them having a 2nd string bowling line up. I do like the idea of a specialist coaches for the 3 formats or combined short format. @Okakaboka - I suppose if you go on the premise of "you're only as good as your last game" - Nannes looks pretty good in ODIs. I don't think he's been that great in List As this year - but probably deserves a shot at the 50/50 WC instead of Tait. I am a big fan of Stuey Clark - but he was definately a better Test bowler than ODI. I don't rate Siddle for ODIs - keep as a Test specialist where a bit of endurance counts. Siddle is the sort of bowler who will bust a gut all day (plenty of practise against the Poms!), - I think that is better suited to Tests. I think he bowls to straight (middle & leg stump) for ODIs. I mean after 17 games an economy 0f 4.6 rpo does not make up for a S/Rate of 50. MJ has a S/R of 32 & eco of 5rpo - I'd take MJ anyday!

  • anur8g on January 31, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    Sad News for every Aussie fan.

  • timmyc1983 on January 31, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    Thanks Bracks, great Aussie bowler and great for NSW too :) enjoy 'retirement'

  • on January 31, 2011, 0:35 GMT

    its sad that the game is losing some really good players.bracken was a very under-rated bowler..infact when the game was dominated by the mcgraths, the lee's...brackens role was very crucial....his performance would quite often go unoticed...cricketers around the world would acknoweldge the fact that he was quite a challenging bowler to deal with..we admire his contributions not only for the aussie team but for the game he has been a great embassador...!!!

  • on January 30, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    very sad to see such a great player leaving cricket due to injuries... :( I really liked his bowling... He was always a great danger for gd batsmen... and was a great asset for AU after MG...will miss him during AU matches..

  • msankar on January 30, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    He is a nice and talented player..... Its very sad to hear this news..... Definitely we need this kind of player for this modern cricket.... Wish him very good luck in the future....

  • on January 30, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    I totally agree , he is surely one of the best swingers , but not satisfactory exit from international cricket , he should have retired like Ntini (another gr8 bowler) did . He was surely always under rated. I would luv to se him as Indian bowling coach... maybe he can teach indian bowlers some bowling....in the end HATS OFF to one of the greatest bowler,.. will always be remembered......

  • on January 30, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    My fav lefty bowler in the world.. sad to see him retire.. HE was one of the guy who made aussie team freaking strong!

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 30, 2011, 2:32 GMT

    He should have played more test cricket than he did. A pity he has retired.

  • Ranura on January 30, 2011, 1:57 GMT

    my favourite aussie bowler. we all miss u even v r playing against australia. gd luck 4 ur future

  • Okakaboka on January 30, 2011, 1:38 GMT

    @VivGilchrist....Again good logical thoughts from a blogger far and above the thought processes of Cricket Australia Selectors and Administrators. Nannes is probably the best ODI bowler on the planet but I would like to see S. Clark and Siddle in the squad together. Clark has demonstrated excellent mentoring skills which is what Siddle needs. He has been Belted in ODIs in the past yet has demonstrated huge potential in this format. He is actually a very accurate fast bowler...so with the guidance of Clark or Bracken he could be really good. Put in Starc and young Pattinson....and wow...in a year or two we could have a fantastic attack. Starc will be way better than Johnston and I think Pattinson has more potential than Hazelwood....better action....quite fast and can swing the ball.

  • VivGilchrist on January 30, 2011, 0:22 GMT

    Bracks was one of our best ODI bowlers. He will be sorely missed for this World Cup and into the future. But before people start bagging the depth of Aussie quicks lets remember first choice ODI quicks such as Bracks, Harris, and McKay are injured for the WC, not to mention up and comers Starc and Hazlewood. Then we chuck in the snubbed Clark and Nannes and Test bowlers Hilfy and Siddle who both could learn a few tricks to become better ODI bowlers and all the young guys coming through, there seems to be a bit of depth around. We just need someone like Bracken to coach them. A specialist ODI/T20 bowling coach may be a good idea?

  • Neal-Lohse on January 29, 2011, 23:09 GMT

    Always looked forward to seeing you with the ball.

    When we were up against it your intro into the attack meant renewed hope...when they were up against it, your intro meant renewed carnage!!

    Sadly, that time has come to an end.

    Please stay involved with the game. Your persona and flair would be ideally suited to coaching the next crop of tear-away at the death supremos.

    A youthful bowling coach - what a concept!

    Best wishes for successful "stabalising surgery" and recovery to full strength.

    Well done neighbour! The Central Coast salutes you.

    Neal Lohse & Family (Gorokan)

  • on January 29, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    Terrific, sorta under-rate bowler... Wish he could have ended his career in a btter way... But ohhh well, he played his last ODI match when he was ranked as the No.2 Best bowler in the world so not a rlly bad end afterall... Wish him goodluck in the future :)

  • Trickstar on January 29, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    Great guy, great bowler, not the way he deserved to go out and best of luck for the future.

  • on January 29, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    kudos to u bracks.....another retirement to trouble australian cricket....

  • on January 29, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    i saw him bowling for the first time in pune in nov 03....the way he swung the bowl to keep stephen flemming stranded at on end ..by bowling consecutive madiens at the start of the innings was fantastic....he was a lot quick then....later he became the death over specialist with his slower cutters....he was the best in doing variations of speed after ian harvey.

  • dsig3 on January 29, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    Well done Bracks. You served your country well. He worked very hard to get to the top and was a tough character despite his looks. Another fantastic Aussie support bowler goes into the sunset following Fleming, Gillespie, Kasper, Bichel.

  • on January 29, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    oh! we will miss u in future

  • khalekk on January 29, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    Bracken was a great crafty bowler, he really had the X-factor when he was at his peak. I will really miss him in cricket, when I was a kid I used to watch him on TV with that long hair of his. Thanks for the memories Bracks!!

  • no_second_chance_for_batsman on January 29, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    A nice thinking bowler 7 good mannered ..sorry to see the way it ended for Bracken..Hey but look at the bright side, one of the lucky guys to play int'l cricket & part of winning WC team. He will make a good bowling coach. cheers, kumar

  • pranavg9994 on January 29, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    will really miss him.........a brilliant odi bowler......if he was indian he wudnt hv been droppd n persisted with for a long time like our xtremely overrated bowlers

  • Girishiyer on January 29, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    Bracken was an unsung hero. what was most amazing was his ability to read the batsmen mind. a great death overs bowler

  • khalith on January 29, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    Assalamu Alaikum & hi to all, I alwys used to discuss to my brother abt world cricket n i also used to ask abt Bracken's inclusion in aus team he told me lots players fighting to get place in team so ho doesn't get chance (may b my bro would've not known abt Brack's injury) I m gr8 fan of cricket n also i do respect to d quality players around d world. Bracken u have played very few matches stil u r in 6th place in aussies wicket taker list u have proved that u r a genuine bowlr many thanks for ur contribution to d world cricket n al d best for ur future.........

  • on January 29, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    An excellent limited over specialist for the all conquering Aussies who let his work do the talking. It was harsh that he ran into a strong Indian batting line-up on debut and without the guidance of McGrath or Warne found it a tough baptism which effectively ended his test hopes. His ODI skills are being missed - hopefully he can keep running in for the shield matches and Big Bash

  • levin36 on January 29, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    such a great talent..good luck for ur future...:)

  • catsa on January 29, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    one of the greatest bowler in ODI ever of the 2000-2009 era of cricket. wish he got more tests games under his belt. excellent player, i hope australia puts him in the coaching staff, a very handy bowling coach :)

  • on January 29, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    i am not a huge fan of aussie cricket but bracken was a talent....its unfortunate and sad he was a good bowler ..........very much underrated...........good luck with your recovery

  • on January 29, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    u are truly an amazing limited overs specialist thanks for your contribution to international cricket ......all the best in life

  • Josh_Schon81 on January 29, 2011, 9:23 GMT

    A fantastic ODI bowler who suddenly vanished off the International stage, like James Hopes or Phil Jaques . I hope Bracken can become a coach and help Australian young bowlers, because tight bowlers are worth their weight in gold in ODIs and Twenty20s, and at the moment, we dont have anyone who can bowl yorkers for us.

  • on January 29, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    A great bowler was always underrated bcaz of bowling with mcgrth,lee and company.... One of the best death bowler I had seen in recent times. Aussies are struggling big time and he cud hav made there world cup squad definatrly it wud hav increased there chances!! All the best Nathan is whatever u do.... if u can work on ur fitness u always can come back in IPL and earn a big chunk :)

  • nzcricket174 on January 29, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    Bracken was a great ODI bowler. Vettori was always pushing to get the #1 spot, but Bracken always sat there comfortably. Unlucky man, unlucky.

  • Lovetesh on January 29, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    Best of luck Bracken for your future!! your contribution to the cricket will always be remembered.

  • Meety on January 29, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    His injury must of been bad not to try & get on the IPL gravy train before he finished up. @Bragg - he was a great ODI bowler but not the greatest. Brett Lee was/is.

  • Nerk on January 29, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    Wonderful bowler. Australia certainly could use someone of his ilk in this upcoming world cup.

  • on January 29, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    thanks for the entertainment nathan

  • on January 29, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Quality bowler who is and will be missed. His contribution even with greats like McGrath & Gillespie around was significant. Held his own and thoroughly deserved his world no. 1 ranking at that time.

  • on January 29, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    sad! he was such an effective bowler! and very underrated!

  • Fareen on January 29, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    Sad to see him go.He was a terrific bowler and was 1 of my favorite.Also,he is a gentleman.Will miss him.I just hope Stuart Clark doesn't retire too as he still has something to give to Australia.

  • Kumaranuj on January 29, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Australia is going to loss another champion match-winner bowler.He was one of the best one-day specialist bowler I saw ever. I see that it is very difficult to score on his bowling in the death overs. In recent time I am searching that why Aussies not picking Bracken in their onedayers ? I am hopeful that Australia might pick him for the world-cup, but now got the news that he have knee injuries that force him to make retirement. I am very disapoint by this news, I really want to see him playing ODIs

  • jonesy2 on January 29, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    one of the most skillful bowlers ever so sad to see a champions career cut down by injury. he has a world cup to prove his champion status at least. basically finished his career at the top.

  • RJHB on January 29, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    Hmmm, good luck in retirement Bracks, maybe you'll get time for a haircut now! A little bit overrated in my opinion, unlike his wife! @William Bragg, best ever One day bowler ever? Could you gush anymore? He was from NSW so I guess that pushes up his standing amongst the radical element, but seriously, he was good at times and fulfilled his roll well enough. Not sure his skills at the death were as good as people seem to recall though. I remember a lot of full tosses, especially slower full tosses that he telegraphed rather obviously to the batsmen and got smacked away. Decent ODI bowler, yes. Champion or great of Australian cricket, not even close! Sorry to your fan club here Bracks!

  • dougie on January 29, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Shame he was not given more of a chance at test level, but with the great bowlers Aus had at the time I can see why he wasn't used.

  • on January 29, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Australia's best ever One Day Bowler ever, Always underrated could swing the ball early then bowl tight overs at the end, should have played more Test cricket, an all time great player

  • believer on January 29, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    wow,that is a big loss man,this guy is a class act sad to see him go out like that cricket has lost a champion,so sad all the best in your future endovers bro good luck

  • Meety on January 29, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    Shame - would of been a match winner @ the W/Cup!

  • on January 29, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    Massive shame, really thought he was a top bowler. Fast bowler myself, and I've had knee injuries that have taken their toll as well, so I know how bad knee injuries for quicks can be. As I said, huge shame, very talented player, wish him all the best for the future.

  • on January 29, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    Australia will definitely miss his services..... such an useful new ball bowler... and very economical bowler in the death overs...

  • puphusss on January 29, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    That's really sad.

    Nathan was a great ODI bowler. Even the top batsmen in the world used to respect him. He was a bowler with a great temperament. Best known for his line and length. It wont be easy to replace him.

    Cheers!!

  • Arii25 on January 29, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    It is really sad to see such a champion bowler bow out like this. one of the best bowler on his day. Australia has lost another champ.

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  • Arii25 on January 29, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    It is really sad to see such a champion bowler bow out like this. one of the best bowler on his day. Australia has lost another champ.

  • puphusss on January 29, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    That's really sad.

    Nathan was a great ODI bowler. Even the top batsmen in the world used to respect him. He was a bowler with a great temperament. Best known for his line and length. It wont be easy to replace him.

    Cheers!!

  • on January 29, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    Australia will definitely miss his services..... such an useful new ball bowler... and very economical bowler in the death overs...

  • on January 29, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    Massive shame, really thought he was a top bowler. Fast bowler myself, and I've had knee injuries that have taken their toll as well, so I know how bad knee injuries for quicks can be. As I said, huge shame, very talented player, wish him all the best for the future.

  • Meety on January 29, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    Shame - would of been a match winner @ the W/Cup!

  • believer on January 29, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    wow,that is a big loss man,this guy is a class act sad to see him go out like that cricket has lost a champion,so sad all the best in your future endovers bro good luck

  • on January 29, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Australia's best ever One Day Bowler ever, Always underrated could swing the ball early then bowl tight overs at the end, should have played more Test cricket, an all time great player

  • dougie on January 29, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Shame he was not given more of a chance at test level, but with the great bowlers Aus had at the time I can see why he wasn't used.

  • RJHB on January 29, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    Hmmm, good luck in retirement Bracks, maybe you'll get time for a haircut now! A little bit overrated in my opinion, unlike his wife! @William Bragg, best ever One day bowler ever? Could you gush anymore? He was from NSW so I guess that pushes up his standing amongst the radical element, but seriously, he was good at times and fulfilled his roll well enough. Not sure his skills at the death were as good as people seem to recall though. I remember a lot of full tosses, especially slower full tosses that he telegraphed rather obviously to the batsmen and got smacked away. Decent ODI bowler, yes. Champion or great of Australian cricket, not even close! Sorry to your fan club here Bracks!

  • jonesy2 on January 29, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    one of the most skillful bowlers ever so sad to see a champions career cut down by injury. he has a world cup to prove his champion status at least. basically finished his career at the top.