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Bond Bowls Back Into The Fold

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Shane Bond. Pic: NZPA
Shane Bond. Pic: NZPA

Auckland, June 26 NZPA - Former renegade Shane Bond has officially been welcomed back into the fold following the premier fast bowler's inclusion in New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) list of 20 contracted players for the 2009-10 season.

Bond severed ties with NZC early last year to take up a lucrative deal with the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League (ICL) Twenty20 competition, a decision that made him ineligible for national selection.

However, the collapse of the ICL has enabled the 34-year-old to resurrect his international career and today's contract announcement comes a week after he declared a desire to represent New Zealand in all forms of the game.

Bond, who last played for New Zealand in a test against South Africa at Johannesburg in November, 2007, could be back on international duty during the tour of Sri Lanka in August and September.

While Bond regains a contract, the NZC selectors have named six first-time recipients -- fast bowlers Brent Arnel and Ian Butler, one-day specialists Grant Elliott and Neil Broom plus top order batsmen Martin Guptill and Tim McIntosh.

Notable omissions from the 2008-09 list are Scott Styris, Jamie How, Peter Fulton and Mark Gillespie.

Contracts were awarded on the basis of how valuable the players were likely to be over the next 12-month period.

The players are ranked from one to 20 in accordance with the value of their contract.

In the past NZC released the rankings but has decided to keep the details in house this time.

It is safe to assume captain Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder are at the top of the ladder while uncapped Northern Districts right-armer Arnel and Broom will be near the tail.

NZC convener of selectors Glenn Turner had no qualms about including Bond, noting his impressive form for Canterbury in last season's limited overs competitions.

"Shane is confident he can continue to contribute. He has performed well in the shorter form of the game at domestic level, his international track record is outstanding," Turner said.

Arnel, a chance of making his test debut against India in Hamilton last summer before he was injured, was chosen on the strength of his form against England A.

Arnel and Ian Butler, who made an encouraging comeback in the limited overs formats this year, pipped another ICL rebel Daryl Tuffey.

Turner said Tuffey was among a cluster of players unfortunate to miss the cut, although they were still in contention for representative duty.

Former opener Craig Cumming and wicketkeeper Peter McGlashan -- who missed out to Brendon McCullum's deputy Gareth Hopkins -- were close to the top 20 as was Aaron Redmond, who impressed in the Twenty20 World Cup as a replacement for Ryder.

Meanwhile, veteran Styris, New Zealand's star performer at the World Cup in the Caribbean two years ago, may be fortunate to feature heavily in the future given his decision to limit himself to the one-day and Twenty20 formats.

"Once you go down to just being available for one form of the game you have to really excel at it and if you don't you're going to struggle for (ranking) points," Turner said of the 33-year-old.


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