Cricket: Stags 'take stock' after NZC fine Bracewell

By Anendra Singh

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Central Districts say Doug Bracewell has an obligation to the major association. Photo/File
Central Districts say Doug Bracewell has an obligation to the major association. Photo/File

Central Districts Cricket will be "taking stock" of Doug Bracewell for the next couple of days, according to the major association's CEO, Hugh Henderson.

New Zealand Cricket yesterday fined Black Caps Bracewell and Jesse Ryder, of the Otago Volts, for an undisclosed sum after the imbibing pair were out until the wee hours of the morning of Waitangi Day, not long before the New Zealanders started playing the first test against India in Auckland.

Bracewell has a national contract while former Bay cricketer Ryder has one with his major association. They are recidivist offenders for breaking team protocol following boozy episodes.

"It's all under the same contract system but he [Bracewell] does obviously have an obligation to us," Henderson said yesterday.

The 23-year-old was in the 13-man playing squad before he and Ryder missed out in the starting XI at Eden Park last Wednesday when Black Caps coach Mike Hesson and NZ Cricket general manager national selection Bruce Edgar culled the squad.

The Sharpies Driving Range Taradale Cricket Club allrounder and Ryder have been dropped from the 13-man squad for the second test starting at the WestpacTrust Stadium, Wellington, on Friday.

Bracewell's exclusion was a foregone conclusion because he broke his right foot on the night out at an Auckland bar and was not available for selection for the Heinrich Malan-coached CD Stags clash with the Volts in a four-day Plunket Shield match in Nelson from last Friday which the hosts (CD) won by 134 runs.

It is still unclear how Bracewell, who returned home to Napier last Thursday, broke his foot although sources have confirmed he doesn't have any other injuries amid media speculation he might have injured his wrist in a scuffle at the Auckland bar.

Former Complete Flooring Napier Technical Old Boys cricketer Ryder carved up an unbeaten 100 runs in Otago's first innings but fell for a golden duck in the second dig as the second hattrick victim of CD skipper Kieran Noema-Barnett at Saxton Oval during the Stags' second victory of the 2013-14 summer in two formats.

Bracewell was the back-up speed merchant for Tim Southee, Trent Boult or Neil Wagner had they picked up injuries while Ryder was bracketed with CD batsman Ross Taylor, whose wife is expecting their second child in the next few days.

CD director of cricket Craig Ross on Sunday told HB Today on Sunday Bracewell needed to grow up and change his ways or those in charge would lose patience with him.

New Zealand head of cricket operations Lindsay Crocker said the pair had accepted a charge of misconduct and had been fined in line with the terms and conditions of their individual player agreements. The amount of the fine remains confidential.

Crocker said the biggest consequence for the pair would be the damage they had caused in their rapport with selectors Hesson and Edgar.

"The New Zealand selectors place great emphasis on qualities such as personal responsibility, trustworthiness and dependability - and will continue to do so with our encouragement.

"All players in contention for the Black Caps need to satisfy the selectors of their commitment to prepare conscientiously for international fixtures.

"They [selectors and team] are astonished at what they did," Crocker also told NZ Herald.

Edgar said Jimmy Neesham - who scored 147 runs (his second career first-class ton) for the Volts in the second innings and was reportedly sent to mind Ryder at the bar after the Caps' dramatic tie in the third ODI against Indian at Eden Park on January 25 - was not necessarily a straight replacement for Bracewell.

"We see Jimmy as a genuine allrounder who can play a number of roles for us. His form with both bat and ball in the Plunket Shield this season speaks for itself," Edgar said.

"We've been able to keep a settled side recently and strung together some successful results along the way. We hope to keep that going but are well aware India will come back at us hard."

Lefthander Ryder, 29, would have been in by default for the second test if Taylor's wife doesn't give birth before mid-morning this Friday.

Now Tom Latham, of the Canterbury Wizards, is bracketed with Taylor.

TV3 News showed CCTV footage outside another Auckland bar on January 25 when Neesham and another man tried to usher Ryder into a taxi with two policemen standing not far with other patrons.

Ryder also went out drinking with comedian Ben Hurley in Hamilton on January 8 after the Black Caps suffered an embarrassing 203 run defeat to the West Indies.

TV commentator Simon Doull, promoting his charity fight against Chris Cairns early December, said Ryder wasn't ready for test cricket after hearing stories of his late-night antics.

Ryder told HB Today in Hastings last month he wanted to regain his test berth. He was engaging in fun activities with Camp Quality children living with cancer at Lindisfarne College.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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