Bracewell family back in the cricket limelight

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 05:00 14/12/2011

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Television commentator Ian Smith summed it up pretty well.

New Zealand cricket has given the Hadlee and Crowe families plenty of plaudits over the years but, following the Black Caps' test win over Australia in Hobart, this is the Bracewells' turn.

Doug Bracewell's second innings haul of 6-40, giving him 9-60 in the match, certainly put that name up in lights, if not for the first time.

The 21-year-old's uncle, Doug Bracewell, was a very fair cricket and rugby player in the 1970s and these days sits on the Masterton District Council and coaches the Central Districts women's team. His brothers Mark, John and Brendon all played first-class cricket as well, with the last two also representing New Zealand.

John coached the Black Caps, from 2003 to 2008, and is now in his second stint in charge of English county Gloucestershire. Mark taught at Dunedin's Kavanagh College before moving to work at Otago Cricket. His son Michael has been a regular in the Otago team this summer and was a New Zealand under-19 team-mate of Brendon's son Doug.

It's a reasonable legacy to have to live up to but one Brendon Bracewell said his boy had never felt burdened by.

"Nah, nah, nah, not at all. He and his cousins and that, they just love their cricket and love to compete," he said.

"The pressure thing doesn't exist. None of the brothers have put any pressure on each other and we've just encouraged our kids to be hard and play hard."

In Doug Bracewell's case, of course, it's not just the surname that potentially carries a weight. Not only did Brendon decide to name his son after his older brother but also one of Australia's best-known drinkers, smokers, punters and cricketers.

"Yeah, it's after two people. One's Dougie Walters, who's a person that I've always had a great amount of time for, and my family have, and then of course my brother Doug.

"It's a combination of the two and I just thought I'll call my son Doug after two champion blokes."

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- Fairfax Media

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