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March 5, 2013
Mike Hesson confirms Doug Bracewell's absence
Bracewell did not attend New Zealand's final training session at University Oval on Tuesday although it is hoped he will recover in time for the second Test in Wellington. It means that Ian Butler, the Otago seamer, could be in line for his first Test appearance in more than eight years. The final place is between him and the uncapped left-arm spinner Bruce Martin.
The situation, which occurred away from the New Zealand squad, has not resulted in any disciplinary action for Bracewell although he has been reminded of his responsibilities and Brendon McCullum, the captain, believes it has been over stressed.
"I think the Doug situation has been blown out of proportion to be honest," he said. "It was an accident with was unfortunate because it has ruled him out of a match he was hoping to be at his best for. He has been able to build up for it. I think he will be back for the second Test."
Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, said that there were expectations on players to ensure they were ready for international duty but did not think there were any significant problems around the culture of the team that needed to be addressed.
"We've got really good standards in terms of the expectations we have on our players," he said. "They are also human and spend a lot of time away from the group. There is the expectation that what they do does not affect their preparation and we are pretty strong with that.
"There's been a bit of comment about the situation but his foot just hasn't recovered. He can't put any weight on it. There's not a lot we can do when he's away from the side. What I understand he was cleaning up after having a group of people over to watch the rugby. It's really disappointing for Doug and the team as he's a crucial part of our seam attack."
Earlier, Bracewell apologised for the situation and its impact on his team-mates. A media release from New Zealand Cricket referred to the incident as "unfortunate" and stated that Bracewell had been "reminded of his obligations and responsibilities as a NZC contracted player".
"We've told Doug that he needs to take responsibility for what happens around him and that he needs to do all he can to ensure his preparation for international cricket is not compromised," Mike Sandle, the New Zealand team manager, said. "Doug is very sorry for any inconvenience he has caused his team-mates and members of the public and he has apologised to his neighbour in Napier."
New Zealand Cricket Players' Association chief executive Heath Mills was involved in Sandle's discussions with Bracewell, who was dropped from the one-day squad in 2012 for breaking team protocol.
"We want to ensure that incidents like this are not repeated and that we provide ongoing support for young players to ensure they are meeting all their obligations and responsibilities," Mills said.
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