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Bracewell returns to NZ squad for Pakistan tests

October 1, 2014

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Fast bowler Doug Bracewell has returned from disciplinary exile to claim a place in the New Zealand team which will play three tests against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates next month.

Bracewell has not been considered for selection since February because of his involvement in a late-night drinking session on the eve of last season’s third test against India.

He suffered a foot injury during his night on the town and was not fit for selection when he reported to Eden Park the following day.

Bracewell has since played for New Zealand A in England and head coach Mike Hesson said Bracewell showed enough on that tour to warrant their inclusion at test level.

“Doug had a very good NZ A tour and we just think that in the heat in the UAE his experience and resilience in those conditions will be important,” Hesson said. “Likewise, Hamish demonstrated a lot of positives on that England tour. His balance was back and with that came his confidence.”

Spinner Mark Craig retains his place for what are expected to spinning wickets in the UAE, having performed strongly in the previous tour in the West Indies.

“Mark had an outstanding first series in spin-friendly conditions and really stepped up to the level required in test cricket,” Hesson said. “Now the challenge for him is to deliver on his second tour when the opposition will know more about him.”

New Zealand beat India and the West Indies in its most recent series, but has not won a series against Pakistan since 1984.

“Pakistan is an incredibly tough team to play in conditions favorable to them,” Hesson said. “Our record against Pakistan is actually the worst against any of the test playing nations, having won just two out of 19 series, both home and away.”

The selectors also named a squad of 19 players to play World Cup warm-up matches against Scotland and Ireland in October.

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New Zealand test squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Hamish Rutherford, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson

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