New Zealand news December 23, 2009

Shane Bond quits Test cricket

Cricinfo staff

New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond has announced his retirement from Test cricket due to a recurring battle with injury. He will continue to represent his country in one-dayers and Twenty20s.

Bond, 34, revived his international career earlier this year after quitting the unofficial Indian Cricket League. He made a comeback to the limited-overs side during the tour of Sri Lanka, before working his way back to the Test squad. Following a match-winning performance in the first Test against Pakistan in Dunedin, he was forced to withdraw from the two remaining games after tearing an abdominal muscle. The injury setback - the latest in a career punctuated by back, feet and soft tissue problems - left him disappointed, prompting him to reassess his future as a Test player.

"The hardest thing is that I've always considered myself a Test bowler - and it was such a great feeling to be back in the team last month and playing Test match cricket with the Blackcaps," Bond said.

"I've worked really hard to get back to Test match fitness - it's what I've been working towards for the past two years - and I feel I gave as much as I could. But looking back, so many of my injuries have come during Test cricket. Unfortunately my body just won't let me continue to play at that level, given the workload and demands of Test cricket.

"I don't want to end on an injury and I am absolutely committed to playing for the Blackcaps. This way I hope I've got a better chance of continuing to play. I hope I'll be able to continue to contribute to the team and to New Zealand cricket fans for a while yet.

"It's been a tough call, because Test cricket remains the ultimate form of the game - but I'm comfortable I've made the right choice."

Bond said he is targeting the one-dayers against Australia starting February for his comeback. He added that he would start playing club cricket in January before representing Canterbury in one-day games the following month.

Justin Vaughan, the CEO of New Zealand Cricket, sympathised with Bond's decision.

"Shane really showed his never-say-die attitude in his comeback this season, especially in the Test Match against Pakistan - and I know how tough this decision has been for him," Vaughan said. "Of course we're disappointed that he won't be part of the Test line-up, but New Zealand Cricket supports his decision to focus on limited-overs cricket and hopes that this decision will prolong his international career.

"He remains one of the best fast bowlers in the international game and we're delighted that he's doing all he can to keep playing."

One of the fastest bowlers in world cricket since the 2000s, Bond has the distinction of being the quickest New Zealander to 50 wickets in Tests and ODIs. However, since his debut in 2001, he has managed to play only 18 Tests, taking 87 wickets, and 77 ODIs. Stress-fractures to his feet and back forced him to miss numerous games and tours, including the 2004 series in England. After a successful tour of Zimbabwe in 2005, a knee injury ruled him out for nine months. He joined the ICL in 2007, had his New Zealand Cricket contract terminated, but was readmitted to the international ranks earlier this year when the Twenty20 league offered amnesty to its players.

He ends his Test career regarded by many as New Zealand's best fast bowler since Sir Richard Hadlee.

Offer your tributes at our Facebook page

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • khalfan on December 26, 2009, 21:26 GMT

    Well Bond i think you have made the right decision because after nearly working hard for almost two years to come back in the side and after one match we see that you have injured yourself again, which dents your confidence and so one will go for retirement only like bond did. He was a great bowler who had the ability to move the ball in both ways and a very dangerous customer at the death overs having a skill to bowl the perfect yorkers.Well i can only say that best of luck for your future with the newzealand board and live a happy life.

  • abdul on December 24, 2009, 19:59 GMT

    Bond is a special bowler to watch whatever the format is... its really sad to know about his retirement... i think it'll be very difficult for kiwis to find his replacement... these days many players begin to realise that suddenly many of them are not good enough to play in tests... anyways best of luck to him for the rest of his career in shorter version of the game... why dont players think the other way, that they can improve their fitness by playing in tough conditions (like in Test Cricket) rather than by avoiding them!

  • lucy on December 24, 2009, 19:25 GMT

    Full credit (i.e. blame) to the BCCI for freezing out ICL players and robbing us of Bond's presence in Test cricket for the last few years.

  • Shreyas on December 24, 2009, 17:22 GMT

    Not only the people of New Zealand,but each and every cricket lover will miss you in Test matches.Hope u never get injured from here on and play at least for 3-4 years. If it hadn't been for injuries and ICL, I am sure you would have picked up around 500 wickets in International Cricket...I watched the news channel and pity those people who say was it the IPL that forced him into retirement.

  • shriram on December 24, 2009, 12:52 GMT

    Bond has been one of my favourite bowler.He is a compelling bowler to watch.He had quit test cricket because he had no other choice and for the first time i think people cannot blame the IPL.So its not the IPL that is forcing cricketers into retirement but the fact is it is TEST cricket that is forcing people into retirements.

  • Peter on December 24, 2009, 12:50 GMT

    I woke yesterday morning to read the news.. totally gutted. I remember first time seeing you Shane at Cardiff Arms, Wales.. I was so proud to see a fellow kiwi bloke the quickest by MILES in that match, Wasim was playing but he was just a trundler in comparsion. Far out that was quick.. and you were a kiwi, stoked as. Since that day have followed your career very closely, shared every injury heart break, and rejoyced in every wicket. I know how hard you've worked, you did everything possible to play in white and I admire your dedication at coming back, mending bridges etc after the ICL. Top work,mate. Without doubt my favourite cricketer. If I ever have the chance to meet you I'd pat you on the back and shout you a beer for your entertainment you have given me. Made me very proud to be kiwi.

    Only missing one thing from tests, the Lords honours board, you should be there but I understand your decision, the patterns are too obvious to ignore.

    Massive fan, plow the northlander.

  • Ram on December 24, 2009, 7:49 GMT

    Shane Bond is one of my favorite bowlers in Cricket. I had always been rooting for him whenever he played, and I was so happy to see his return against Pakistan. But, I was so disappointed when I heard he got injured, yet again. And now I hear Bond quits test cricket, and I am even more disappointed. I don't blame Bond. I respect his decision. He is a great player, but unfortunately his records won't show that because of his constant injuries. Life has dealt an unfair hand at Bond. I hope he can at least make a big difference for New Zealand, during the 2011 World Cup. Or at least, for his sake I hope the other New Zealand players can do their best to reach the finals if not win the World Cup. That will be Bond's last after all.

  • Amreesh on December 24, 2009, 5:51 GMT

    One of the gr8 bowlers i have ever seen....Sharpest action, speed and the length makes him another gem in the game. Thanks for single delivery u bowled and i am emotional to see Shane going out of test cricket but he will always be the heartthrob of the fans all around the globe for his discipline and love for the Game of Cricket. Cheeeers for Shane ...cheers for BOND the only BOND......the Bond who is licensed to kill like any pears brosonon...................

  • Deuel on December 24, 2009, 4:10 GMT

    ramesh.k he never played in the ipl, it was the ICL and i'm sure given his career history,he would have been affected by injuries no matter what,after all, he is human. having said that it is sad that he is retiring from tests as he is a phenomenal bowler. this is a great loss to nz cricket

  • Deran on December 24, 2009, 1:35 GMT

    Shane Bond is a very talented and a gifted wicket taking bowler...he will be badly missed by the NZ test side....

    More than all, he is an ambassador of this game, a real gentlemen with a very high level of discipline...I've never seen him sledging at any opponent (like most of the renowned fast bowlers used to do)....

    So let's hope a prolonged career to Shane Bond in the shorter versions, because he's too good to be missed by the cricket world right now....

  • No featured comments at the moment.