WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand cricketer Doug Bracewell has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service for a third drink-driving offence after blaming the killing of a pet cockatoo by dogs for his decision to drive home drunk from a function.
The 26-year-old fast bowler was pulled over by police in March and returned a blood-alcohol reading more than three times the legal limit.
His lawyer told the Hastings District Court that Bracewell had been drinking at a function when his girlfriend called him in distress after their cockatoo was killed by dogs they were minding for a friend, the local newspaper Hawke’s Bay Today reported on Thursday.
Judge Bridge Mackintosh also disqualified him from driving for a year and said the 27-test cricketer had let himself, his family and New Zealand Cricket down.
“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,” the newspaper quoted Mackintosh as saying.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said it would not impose any additional penalty.
“NZC notes Mr Bracewell suffered a serious leg injury in February and is unlikely to resume his competitive cricket career until next summer,” local media quoted the organisation as saying in a statement.
“Under these circumstances, and considering the penalty imposed in the Hastings District Court today, NZC will be taking no further punitive action.”
Bracewell, who has also played 14 one-day internationals and 14 Twenty20 internationals, was previously caught drink driving in 2008 and 2010 and has been involved in a string of alcohol-fuelled incidents.
He was banned for a match in 2012 after he and former New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder were involved in an altercation with a person at a Napier bar while out drinking.
A year later he was ruled out of the first test against England in Dunedin after he cut his foot when stepping on glass during a clean-up for a party at his house.
In 2014, he was fined after another late night out drinking with Ryder before a test against India.
Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Greg Stutchbury