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Return Of The Bond

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

It has been nearly two years since Shane Bond played an ODI for New Zealand and these two years have been rather devastating for New Zealand cricket. They lost several players to ICL, the rival Indian T20 championship, which triggered the T20 fever in India. Regardless of his short career, he has managed to grab 125 ODI wickets at a frugal economic rate of 4.20 with an astounding average of 19.32 a piece.

Promising start

In his debut against the mighty Aussies, Bond made early inroads into the Australian top order, dismissing Ponting and Bevan in a span of two overs after sending back Mark Waugh in the first over. That marked the beginning of a genuine pace bowler who bowls at late 90 miles with a staggering accuracy. He has torn apart several defensive walls but was confined due to the lack of quality fast bowling support from his teammates.

Anti-climax at Port Elizabeth

His performances against Australia itself are the testimonials of his skills and talent. In his 11 outings against the Aussies, he has scalped 30 wickets and three times bagged 5 wickets or more in a match. The Super Six match between Australia and New Zealand in the 2003 World Cup will be remembered for Shane Bond’s breathtaking performance against the defending World Champs. Australians had no answer to his accuracy and pace. He started with a ripper to remove Hayden. It was only Shane Bond before Andy Bichel played a blinder along with Michael Bevan to take Australia to 208, which proved too hot for the Kiwis.

Welcome to ICL

New Zealand players were amongst the least paid International cricketers and they lacked the lucrative endorsement contracts, which the Indian players had. Due to this financial instability and an injury prone body, Bond was quite skeptical about his career span and it was at that time that ICL contacted him. He had to choose ICL to make some dollars out of it to secure his family, which is to any man. BCCI showed their muscle by influencing ICC to ban all the ICL players from playing for their country and this was the catalyst in Bond’s abeyance from the national side.

Coming back

The terror attacks in Mumbai prompted the ICL to stop its tournaments for a long time, which was a blessing in disguise for several international players like Shane Bond to come back to the national side. After a long hard 2 years, Shane Bond is all set to play against the Srilankans in August, which is also a platform for him to come back into the test side. With the inclusion of Bond, the New Zealand pace battery will have a new vigor after their lackluster performance against India in their own backyard.

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