Bond returns for Zimbabwe tour
Shane Bond has been included in both the Test and one-day squads for New Zealand's tour of Zimbabwe in August. Jeetan Patel, the Wellington offspinner, was the only new face in the one-day side while the 15-man Test squad was picked on expected lines. Daryl Tuffey and Chris Harris have both been left out of the tour, with each given more time recover from their injuries and get back to fitness.
Bond, 30, has been out of international cricket for more than two years owing to a back injury and his return as the spearhead of the attack will bolster a struggling New Zealand side who have won just four of their last 21 Tests.
"It is exciting to see Shane Bond back after a successful return to first class cricket," John Bracewell, the coach, was quoted as saying in the New Zealand Herald. "We will monitor his progress in Australia with the Emerging Players team and expect that should he continue to progress well, we will see him return to international cricket at some stage during the Zimbabwe tour."
Though there were indications a few players would not tour Zimbabwe on moral grounds, none declared their unavailability. Bracewell added that Tuffey would join Daniel Vettori, Chris Martin and Kyle Mills as extra players with the Emerging Players team going to Australia next week.
Patel, 25, has picked up 86 wickets in 46 first-class games and Bracewell cited the reasons for his inclusion. "Patel has been selected for the one-day series as part of our buildup to the World Cup," Bracewell said. "He bowled well at domestic level last season and has the ability to bowl under the bat and late in the innings. Spin bowlers of this type have been very successful in the West Indies."
Stephen Fleming (capt), Daniel Vettori (vice-capt), Nathan Astle, Craig Cumming, Lou Vincent, Hamish Marshall, Scott Styris, James Marshall, Brendon McCullum (wk), Jacob Oram, Kyle Mills, James Franklin, Shane Bond, Chris Martin, Paul Wiseman.
Stephen Fleming (capt), Daniel Vettori (vice-capt), Scott Styris, Nathan Astle, Chris Cairns, Lou Vincent, Hamish Marshall, Brendon McCullum (wk), Craig McMillan, Jacob Oram, Andre Adams, Kyle Mills, Jeetan Patel, Shane Bond.