Cricket: Braces taking it on chin but plans to return

By Anendra Singh

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Doug Bracewell. Photo / Duncan Brown
Doug Bracewell. Photo / Duncan Brown

Doug Bracewell wasn't expecting it and certainly isn't surprised New Zealand Cricket didn't renew his international contract for the 2014-15 summer.

"It's obviously disappointing, I guess, but I'll just take it on the chin and move forward," the 23-year-old Devon Hotel Central Districts Stags allrounder said last night from Napier.

Veteran batsman Ross Taylor and speed merchant Adam Milne are the only CD players among the 20 in the NZ Cricket payroll.

Bracewell broke team protocol towards the end of last summer when he went out drinking early on Waitangi Day, the first day of the opening test against India.

While former Hawke's Bay and CD cricketer Jesse Ryder had returned to domestic duties with the Otago Volts for the start of the one-day Ford Trophy competition, Bracewell had not been available because of a broken foot. NZ Cricket had fined the pair an undisclosed sum of money in what the public perceived as a wet bus ticket, considering there were no suspensions handed out.

The Sharpies Driving Range Taradale CC player said he had received a phone call from NZ Cricket selection manager Bruce Edgar informing him he had missed out on a contract.

"We didn't really discuss the whys and what nots," Bracewell said, revealing he had a couple of meetings with NZ Cricket officials and CD administrators before finishing on amicable terms.

"I'm man enough to accept that most of it is my fault ...

"It's something for me to sort out in trying to get back on the right track and do what I can," said the right-arm seamer who made his international debut in 2011.

The son of former international Brendon Bracewell, of Napier, and nephew of John and Doug Bracewell snr, rose to stardom in just his third test when he claimed 9-60 in Hobart to lead the Black Caps to their first test victory in Australia in 26 years.

In coach Mike Hesson's regime, the former New Zealand Under-19 World Cup player was seen as a test seamer but not in the shorter formats.

Unfortunately, he was also having his share of run-ins with NZ Cricket and CD following boozy nights and cutting his leg on a broken bottle in his Napier home.

The former Delhi Daredevils IPL recruit brought a bend-your-back-to-hit-the-deck mentality to extract express pace and wickets.

Last night he remained determined to regain his berth in the Black Caps.

"If I don't make it next year then I'll do it the following year," he said as the country prepares to jointly host the One-Day International World Cup next year.

Bracewell doesn't just see himself as test specialist but someone who can excel in all three formats.

"It might take a while but once I've got back in there I'll be fighting pretty hard to keep that spot."

Revealing he was "healthy and free of injuries", Bracewell is looking forward to starting the season with his Taradale premier club team when the season starts in October.

He has been training three times a week with CD coach Heinrich Malan.

Bracewell said two provinces had approached him to shift from the Bay but he was happy with the coach and CD mangement here.

Malan, back for his second term from South Africa after a summer to forget, said it was unfortunate Bracewell had missed out on a contract but felt he was capable of playing for several more years in the international arena.

"He's a 23-year-old man and that's part of life after having had some mishaps and learning from them."

The coach said Bracewell was working hard with the CD squad, viewing footage from his Black Caps campaign and it was all about changing his attitude.

"He's had some down time to reflect on his actions and is quickly adapting," he said, adding Bracewell had the imposing presence of three cricketers rolled into one.

Malan lauded Milne's contract and was pleased NZ Cricket would look after him.

CD would be preparing him "with a big eye on the World Cup in the lead-up stage in February and March".

"Milney's showing promise and has good potential for international cricket."

He confirmed Carl Cachopa and Tarun Nethula had signed for the Auckland Aces but could not comment on other signings until July 25 after having completed contractual obligations.

While friends with Black Caps Neil Wagner, he dispelled rumours there was anything on the table to entice the seamer to the Stags this summer.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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