Shane Edward Bond
June 07, 1975, Christchurch, Canterbury
Right hand bat
Right arm fast
Fast, fearsome and frustratingly fragile, Shane Bond will be remembered as much for his misfortune with injuries as for his wonderful ability. Bond was New Zealand's best pace bowler in the post-Hadlee era, but missed more games than he played.
At times it seemed less like injuries interrupting Bond's career as Bond's occasional cricket matches interrupting his downtime. The most serious was a back problem in 2003 that led to nearly two years out and an operation in which his spine was fused with titanium wire. There were also various issues with knees, feet and other body parts, but Bond's desire to play could never be questioned. Some of the trouble came from his unwillingness to reduce his intensity; had he been happy to drop his pace and take things easier, he might have played more cricket.
That he didn't take that path said much about his competitive nature; the game always lifted a notch when he had the ball. His athletic action was geared towards inswing and his 150-plus kph efforts meant the ball would swing late. Toe-crushing yorkers were a specialty and he feasted on the world's best batsmen; Ricky Ponting fell to Bond in all of the first six ODIs they played against each other. Bond always lifted against Australia, and it was a sign of his great skill that he took 44 ODI wickets at 15.79 against them. That included a hat-trick in Hobart in 2006-07 and one of Bond's personal favourites, his 6 for 23 against the eventual champions in the 2003 World Cup.
He helped New Zealand to a World Cup semi-final four years later, before signing with the ICL, which led to his being ostracised from international cricket for two years. He returned in late 2009 with enough fuel for one final match-winning performance in the Dunedin Test against Pakistan, but within a year had retired from all forms of the game as his body told him enough was enough.
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