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January 28, 2008
Shane Bond is facing the likely end of his New Zealand career after his national contract was terminated to allow him to participate in the Indian Cricket League. The decision comes after weeks of negotiations as Bond tried to find a way of mixing the two, but in the end he says he leaves with no hard feelings.
"I think everyone has acted with best intentions and then we have found ourselves between a rock and hard place really," he told the New Zealand Herald. "It's probably not a way I expected to finish. It would always be nice to go out and walk off the field for the last time. But..if I'm never to play again [for New Zealand] it's been a great run."
Although neither Bond or the New Zealand board has completely ruled out a return the fast bowler appears set to end is international days with an impressive record of 79 wickets from 17 Tests and 125 scalps in 67 ODIs. Those numbers would have been even greater had it not been for an endless string of injuries that limited his appearances and the lack of Tests played by New Zealand.
Bond, who was a policeman before becoming a tearaway quick, says he regrets not having been able to enjoy more success, but is happy with what he achieved. "I would definitely go down as a player who got the best out of myself," he said. "And that's the one thing, I suppose, as a player you hope for when you finish. By doing that I have got the record I have, and I'm proud of the record I have got. It's a shame that it can't go any further.''
With his injury prone body, Bond said that it was time he looked at securing his future which is one of the major reasons behind his decision to take the ICL over the national team. He turned down an offer to play county cricket last year to ensure he was fit for New Zealand's tour of South Africa but, without revealing the figure, found the latest offer to good to refuse.
"I have made some financial sacrifices to try to play my best for New Zealand. I think now is the time, even though I miss out on some of my goals I wanted to achieve for New Zealand, the benefits for my family are going to be there."
"The winter that has just gone I got the opportunity to go and play county cricket and had a really good offer on the table. But I turned that down because I wanted to go to South Africa [with the Black Caps] and be in the best shape I could be to go over there.
"Later on in the year I got another offer [from the ICL] - at that stage I was able to do both. So on one hand I could play for New Zealand and on the other hand secure the future of my family, which was a dream result for me."
However, Bond did sound a cautionary note regarding the explosion of Twenty20 in India in the form of the ICL and IPL which are generating huge sums of money.
"Really I think everybody is unsure about what is going to happen," he said. "I suppose what everyone can see is there's a huge amount of money in cricket, so from a player's point of view it's an exciting time to be involved in the game. But what you do hope is that we don't have a complete split, that they can find a balance that keeps everyone happy."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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