Doug Bracewell: NZ cricketer punished for drink-driving over dead cockatoo incident
New Zealand fast bowler Doug Bracewell blamed the killing of a pet cockatoo by dogs for his decision to drink-drive.
The 26-year-old was stopped by police in March, found guilty of a third drink-driving offence, and given 100 hours of community service and a ban.
Bracewell's lawyer said this was not about a disregard for road rules but a "genuine concern" for his partner.
"The cockatoo was of some significance to his partner and she was quite distraught," he said.
Lawyer Ron Mansfield told the Hastings District Court that Bracewell had been drinking at a function when his girlfriend called him about the cockatoo incident.
Bracewell, who has taken 72 wickets in 27 Tests, had previously said in a statement that he had made a "massive mistake" by driving home. He added: "This was no-one's fault but my own. I'm deeply embarrassed to have let down so many people, be they family, friends, or cricket-lovers."
Judge Bridge Mackintosh, who disqualified the cricketer from driving for a year, said: "This offending in my submissions should be seen as an unfortunate hiccup and something that doesn't reflect the man he has become or the sportsman."
New Zealand Cricket said it would not impose any additional penalty. It added that Bracewell is unlikely to resume his competitive cricket career until early next year as he recovers from a serious leg injury.
Bracewell, whose father Brendon and uncle John both played Test cricket for the Kiwis, was previously caught drink-driving in 2008 and 2010.
- Bracewell and Jesse Ryder were suspended for a match in 2012 after an altercation in a bar while drinking, following a one-day international against South Africa.
- In 2013, he missed the Test series against England after cutting a foot when he stood on broken glass while cleaning up after a party at his house.
- He was suspended for one Test in 2014 after going on a drinking session with Ryder, during which he broke a bone in a foot.