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2 New Zealand players investigated for drinking

February 7, 2014

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand fast bowler Doug Bracewell arrived at Eden Park with a broken foot on the first morning of the first cricket test against India after having been seen drinking with teammate Jesse Ryder hours before the match was due to begin.

New Zealand Cricket has launched an investigation into the two players who are members of the country’s 13-man test squad.

While neither had been named in the match 11, Bracewell would have played in the event of a late injury to a bowler and Ryder was on standby to replace Ross Taylor, whose wife is expecting their second child.

Team manager Mike Sandle said the behavior of Ryder and Bracewell was “totally unacceptable the night before a match.”

“We trust the players to make good decisions and the pair have breached this trust,” he said.

The players had confirmed to Sandle they were out together on the night before the match, but a full investigation of the incident is expected to take several days. New Zealand Cricket says it doesn’t yet know how Bracewell sustained his injury.

Ryder has only recently returned to international cricket after taking a break of almost two years to tackle issues around alcohol and fitness after being suspended for one match for being involved in a drinking incident with Bracewell in February 2012.

Both players were punished after becoming involved in an altercation with a bar patron in Napier after a one-day international against South Africa. Ryder was found to have breached team rules by drinking alcohol while injured.

Bracewell missed New Zealand’s three-test home series against England last year after cutting his feet on broken glass while cleaning up after a party at his home.

Ryder was also injured in a late-night drinking incident in 2008 when he cut his hand punching a toilet window in a Christchurch bar. He has also been sanctioned for abusing a former team manager and for arriving late for team meetings and training sessions.

Last year, Ryder was suspended for six months after returning a positive test for two banned substances which were contained in a product he was taking to help weight loss. In March, he was seriously injured in an assault outside a Christchurch bar and spent several days in an induced coma while recovering from head and lung injuries.

The latest incident comes only days before Ryder is expected to be sought after in an auction of players for the Indian Premier League.

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