Cricket: Bracewell under a cloud over injury

By Hayden Meikle

Black Caps seam bowler Doug Bracewell is under a cloud with an injury and uncertainty over exactly how it was sustained.

Bracewell has a foot injury, apparently from cleaning up cut glass following a party at his home in Napier at the weekend.

Radio Sport reported today that neighbours complained about a party at Bracewell's home getting out of control.

New Zealand manager Mike Sandle, who only arrived in Dunedin today ahead of the first test against England starting on Wednesday, said Bracewell would undergo a fitness test tomorrow.

"At the moment, I can't tell you if he's playing in this test or not,'' Sandle said.

"I am aware of some allegations that have been levelled this morning. There's a lot I don't know at the moment. I need to ascertain some facts.''

Sandle said he would be disappointed if the injury turned out to be alcohol-related but he was reluctant to comment further until he had spoken to Bracewell.

He indicated the Black Caps had enough bowling cover in the squad if Bracewell was ruled out. Otago left-armer Neil Wagner and spin bowler Bruce Martin, on debut, would likely join spearheads Tim Southee and Trent Boult.

Both the English and the Black Caps had their first net sessions at the University Oval today.

The teams were greeted by strong winds and grey skies - rather a disappointment after a long, hot Dunedin summer, though the forecast for the week looks reasonable.

Ticket sales for the test have been brisk, with fewer than 1000 on general sale. The ground's capacity has expanded to about 5300.

- Otago Daily Times

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