Former Australian Test cricketer to run for election

SYDNEY - Former Australian Test cricketer Nathan Bracken (above) Monday said he will stand in next month's national elections, where he will be joined by a one-time A-League football coach.

The lanky pace bowler will run as an independent in the New South Wales seat of Dobell north of Sydney which is currently held by Craig Thomson, a disgraced former Labor party member accused of misusing trade union credit cards to pay for prostitutes.

"I will be running as an independent for the seat of Dobell for the election and Lawrie McKinna will run in Robertson as an independent," Bracken, who played five Tests and 116 one-day internationals, tweeted Monday.

Bracken and McKinna are being bankrolled by advertising guru John Singleton who said he was doing it "because I feel I should, I can afford it, it can do no harm, and it can only do good".

McKinna, the local mayor of Gosford in New South Wales, is a former footballer who has coached Australian A-League side Central Coast Mariners and Chinese clubs.

Both Dobell and Robertson are considered marginal seats in the September 7 polls at which every seat will count for Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as he seeks to hold power against his conservative opponent Tony Abbott.

Bracken, 35, who is suing Cricket Australia reportedly for failing to adequately deal with a knee injury which ended his career, said he wanted to focus on local issues such as unemployment.

"I see that we've got to give ourselves the best opportunity and put ourselves in the race," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"If you sit back and complain about how things are done there's no chance of getting anything so putting my hand up and getting out there."

Bracken played in 116 one-day internationals for Australia, taking 174 wickets at an average of 24.36. He also featured in five Tests, taking 12 wickets at 42.08.