Australian fast bowler, Nathan Bracken, is disillusioned. His cricket career has been cut short by injuries and derailed by what he calls reckless policy on the part of the Australian selectors. As Bracken has now stunned the cricket world by announcing that he will sue Cricket Australia, is this how sports related injuries may be handled in the future?
Who is really responsible for the injuries that the cricketers incur on a regular basis? That became a serious issue in the Indian context as the number of Indian cricketers injured or missing the tour of England mounted to alarming proportions. Questions were raised about Gautam Gambhir and whether the injury was sustained during the IPL or before that during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 with the full knowledge of the BCCI. The injury debates and the management of workload have become a contentious issue particularly since the inception of the IPL and it would seem that while a huge brouhaha was avoided although the discussions were not, perhaps the day is not altogether far off when it could become a battle between the BCCI, the players and the IPL franchisees should injuries continue to bog players down.
Nathan Bracken is going down a different route and has proceeded to take legal action against Cricket Australia, claiming that his knee injury was not managed right by the Australian cricket authorities, leading to a complete breakdown that has now virtually sealed his cricket career. Bracken is alleging that Cricket Australia was responsible for handling injury concerns and that they had allowed him to pursue the sport at a time when perhaps rehabilitation would have helped lengthen his career. That he played through the pain without the proper advice has resulted in Bracken now ending his career and thereby, claiming loss of earnings which is not surprising why he is taking this road.
It will be something to watch closely in how it proceeds because this is a serious issue that has not only affected Bracken but also, something that has been discussed, again in the Indian context, where the cricketers are obligated to play for the franchisees, something with niggles that have resulted in serious injuries that have forced them into a leave of absence with the Indian cricket team and vice versa wherein the IPL franchisees would not be too happy with the prospect of signing on players only for them to turn up injured for their IPL team while playing for their country, given the investments made the franchisees. Sport has become a tricky business and it is understandable why Bracken would feel aggrieved. Whether he has a legitimate reason will be decided in the coming days.