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Mason called up as cover for Bond

Michael Mason, the Central Districts fast bowler, has been called up as cover for Shane Bond, whose knee injury made him a doubtful starter for the second Test against South Africa at Newlands.

The injury kept Bond out of the first Test at Centurion, one that New Zealand lost by 128 runs. Bond has been plagued by injury in the last few years, managing to feature in just six Tests since the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. Lindsay Crocker, the team manager, said that though Bond was improving, it wasn't certain that he would be fit to play.

"It's too early for us to say whether Shane will be fit or not but, the way things are in the moment, we feel he's got a good chance and wouldn't want to count him out yet," Crocker told New Zealand Herald. "That's why he's not going home. Our concern is that, if Shane is not available for Newlands, we'll have no cover for the balance of the pace attack and that's why we sent for Michael.

"It's just got to the stage where we have to make a decision in terms of having someone over here in time for the second Test."