Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Noel Wood was detained in Queensland in February last year
The brother of Australian cricketer Ellyse Perry has said US prosecutors are seeking to “break” her sister.
Noel Wood told the Women’s Spin Cricket League that Perry has lost the support of some of the squad because of her legal fight.
The New South Wales State player, 23, faces allegations that a contractor working on her property stole $US200,000 worth of items in August 2016.
She has pleaded not guilty to stealing from contractors, and obstructing justice.
The cricketer has yet to appear in a court since the alleged theft, but her brother said it was difficult for the team to play “when your leader is being investigated for financial crimes”.
“Ellyse used to be fearless but now she’s scared to come out of the house for fear they will break her.”
His statement was recorded by The New Daily on 4 May last year, and has since been leaked online.
Perry and Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc have fallen out with the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA), a rival to Cricket Australia (CA).
The ACA has been critical of CA’s handling of the situation, and threatened legal action if it is not satisfied with a proposal to appoint the national side’s star women players to a commission of inquiry.
CA argued the ACA is looking for an “either/or” – one extra commission of inquiry or none at all.
Ministerial intervention has been required after CA accused the ACA of “playing politics with women’s cricket”.
A spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York said it does not comment on any matters of ongoing litigation.
As Perry’s case has not yet been determined, it is not possible to comment on the validity of her brother’s claims.
US News reported a sealed indictment, presented in court in February, contains allegations of two counts of theft and four counts of obstruction of justice.
They are alleged to have been committed between August 16 and 17 2016, at Ms Perry’s home in North Shields, New South Wales.
Ms Perry has repeatedly said she is innocent and will continue to fight the case.
She told the ABC that allegations were “highly, highly unlikely” to be true.
“They’re talking about stuff that just doesn’t make sense,” she said.
“I don’t know why they’re so confident they’re going to win.”
Cricket Australia and CA have told Perry the government is not involved in her case, other than on the decision about the general inquiry.
CA chief executive James Sutherland and ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson wrote to Perry in late November, demanding the inclusion of women’s cricketers in the proposed independent probe.
CA said they needed to “ensure the integrity of cricket in Australia” by “preserving the final integrity standards of Australian cricket”.
CA said it was worried some players might quit the team – and “contribute to sporting personnel transgressions that could affect the global status of Australian cricket”.
An ACA representative told the ABC in March that there are “extremely limited options” at this point.
The ACA has rejected CA’s suggestion the government could step in.
Cricket Australia and CA’s shared decision
Cricket Australia chairman David Peever told the ABC: “All of those sorts of processes that are happening in this matter can be reviewed by the relevant lawyers and the appropriate documents and evidence and all those sorts of things can be presented to the appropriate government representatives.”
CA said its secretary told then Australian Sports Commission chairman John Wylie in October that Perry and her legal representative had been told the government was not involved.
Cricket Australia is yet to respond to the allegation about the ACA.
Who is Ellyse Perry?
Ellyse Perry captained Australia in their Twenty20 victory over New Zealand in February
Australian and New South Wales cricketer
Has led her team to number one in the world rankings for women’s T20 cricket
Brought up in the Sydney suburb of Kirribilli
First female cricket coach in NSW cricket’s under-14s division