November 12, 2001

Miserable luck continues for Nash

Dion Nash is out of the tour of Australia and will be replaced by Canterbury's Shane Bond.

A worsening of the abdominal strain he suffered earlier in the tour is the reason for his return, not the back problems he has previously suffered.

Nash, who must be medical insurance's worst nightmare given his propensity for injury, was only passed fit following a fitness test to assess his abdominal strain, further strained the original injury when diving full length in the field.

It is yet another blow to Nash's career which has been notable for him picking himself up off the canvas than a punch drunk boxer three years past retirement.

While he went wicketless during the Test, there were occasional glimpses of Nash at his best with balls beating the bat and also moving around. His pure competitiveness will be sorely missed.

Manager Jeff Crowe said everyone involved with the team was bitterly disappointed, particularly for Nash who had only recently returned to the side after a back injury.

"Dion has worked incredibly hard to get over his back injury and to strengthen it so he could come back and play to the best of his ability for his country," Crowe said.

"For him to be ruled out of the tour with a totally unrelated injury is extremely frustrating."

Nash's misfortune is Bond's good luck and after making a significant impression on unresponsive Indian pitches with the New Zealand A team earlier in the year he could have a great chance to make an impact on the tour, although he is still likely to be behind Daryl Tuffey and Chris Martin in the selection pecking order.

His form in the match against South Australia at the Adelaide Oval will be his only chance to make an impression.

However, looking further ahead, Bond's batting makes him an ideal prospect for the CLEAR Black Caps one-day team for the VB series starting in January.

Bond is to join the team in Australia today.