England in New Zealand, 2012-13 March 4, 2013

Bracewell in doubt for first Test


New Zealand Cricket is investigating an incident involving Doug Bracewell which has left the fast bowler with an injured foot and in doubt for the first Test.

Bracewell is understood to have suffered a cut during or after a party before joining up with the New Zealand squad in Dunedin. NZC are trying to determine the exact circumstances and find out if alcohol played any role.

Bracewell, who did not require stitches to the injury, did not train with the squad at the University Oval on Monday having been ordered to stay at the hotel by medics. He will undergo a fitness test on Tuesday. Ian Butler, the Otago seamer, has been called into the squad as cover with a final decision to be taken after training tomorrow.

Heath Mills, the chief executive of the New Zealand Players' Association, is already involved in the situation. Mike Sandle, the New Zealand team manager, said that the facts needed to be confirmed but that it was an issue the team did not need.

"I'll be working with Doug and Heath to get to the bottom of it," Sandle said. "I'm disappointed to be standing in front of you. No one wants to be standing here like this. There are a lot of acts I need to find out about, but if it is related to that [drink], I'm very disappointed.

"It is a distraction. We want to earn the faith of the public and put in a good Test match performance, so it is disappointing to be here but I want to make it plain that, as I speak now, there is a lot of stuff I'm unaware of," he added.

Sandle also stressed that the injury occurred away from official New Zealand duty. No replacement has been called into the squad yet. Neil Wagner, the left-arm quick, was added after the New Zealand XI match in Queenstown and is one of the four pacemen in the 13-member squad.

Butler, who was part of the Twenty20 squad against England, could yet find himself playing his first Test for more than eight years if Bracewell is ruled out and New Zealand want four seamers. He took 39 wickets at 25.12 in this season's Plunket Shield and has been called up ahead of Mark Gillespie who played for the New Zealand XI in Queenstown.

Last year, Bracewell was dropped from the one-day squad in the series against South Africa for breaking team protocol.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alan on March 4, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    @ plow - I agree. NZC just seem to have no clue about how to treat the players. He cut his foot cleaning up after a party, hardly the worst thing a 22 year-old could do. Yet to hang him out to dry in the media....hardly likely to inspire trust. Surely a quiet word would have sufficed? Good luck Dougie, hope you're ok to play!

  • Dennis on March 4, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    Why are we recycling a player ( Butler ) who hasn't played test cricket for 8/9 years . He is not a Quick Bowler anymore - A Slow Trundler What about Milne ! ,Wheeler ,Gillespie ,even C Martin would be better than Bulter.

  • Luke on March 4, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Is Vetorri still injured? 8 months since his last test is a long time to be injured...

  • Anupam on March 4, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Another one in doubt, Injury is the history of NZ cricket. NZ players plays very less international cricket, domestic cricket, some other tournaments like IPL,BBL, BPL, SLPL, etc compare with others teams but there players are more injured. I saw very few players who is able to play a whole series. AND also not only simple injuries NZ players hit by Career threatening injuries, very very long injuries & retirement injuries. WHY ??

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    @LillianThomson - Ryder will no doubt be back for the tour of England. Also it's Ryder taking time off, not NZC putting a ban on him. Ryder has changed a lot as a person.

    @ others: Chris Martin is past his prime, Ian Butler is a FAR better candidate than both Gillespie and Anderson (who is injured and can't bowl).

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    what about Mark Gillespie???????

  • David on March 4, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    NZ Cricket's Lifestyle Police strike again.

    Thank goodness that there is no place for the nation's second best batsman (Jesse Ryder). Being role models who are easybeats inspires youngsters far more than success.

    Australia's 1970s success with Ian Chappell, Doug Walters and Rod Marsh is nothing to aspire to, because we Kiwis can take pride in sending out below-strength teams to get flogged. We don't need a happy, well-adjusted team, we need a team of clean-cut nobodies.

    Can we please have Lee Germon back as captain and Glenn Turner as coach? Then the journey will be complete. Who can forget those glorious days in which the temperamental Adam Parore and Chris Cairns were replaced with the vastly inferior but compliant Germon and Harris?

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    Alcohol at a party, surely not? NZ cricket must investigate this, its unheard of.

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2013, 4:29 GMT

    Martin is recovering from an injury apparently

  • Naman on March 4, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    Provided Corey Anderson gets rid of the side strain, I feel he is a really good prospect for the Kiwis in Tests as an all-rounder. I am not from New Zealand so I maybe having less knowledge than others but this is just my instinct.

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