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Bond To Hang Up Boots

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Shane Bond
Shane Bond

Wellington, May 14 NZPA - Shane Bond, one of New Zealand best fast bowlers, has sent down his last delivery.

Bond, 34, announced his retirement from all cricket today as he returned home to Christchurch from the Twenty20 world championship in the Caribbean.

He explained he didn't want to compromise his own high standards in order to continue in international cricket.

"I know the time is right for me to step down. I have given it everything when playing for the Black Caps. I will miss the camaraderie because it has been a privilege to play along such a great bunch of guys who are so committed to do their best for New Zealand," Bond said in a statement.

"I want to thank my wife Tracey, my family, my manager Leanne McGoldrick and all those at New Zealand Cricket, Canterbury, my club Old Boys Collegians and the Players Association's Heath Mills for all their help and support over the years.

"Playing with pride for the Black Caps over the years has meant so much to me. I dreamed of playing for New Zealand when I was six.

"The reality of what has unfolded was more than I could ever hope for and I have been extremely proud to represent New Zealand. I am going to miss a lot of this but I know now is the time to bow out. I am very keen at some stage to put something back into the game in New Zealand."

Bond's career was packed with highlights but also blighted by injuries after he made his debut against Australia in 2001.

In nearly nine years of international cricket, Bond played just 18 tests, 80 one-day internationals and 20 Twenty20 internationals.

He took 87 test wickets at an excellent average of 22.09, and 147 ODI wickets at 20.88.

His individual highlight was his haul of six for 23 against Australia at the 2003 World Cup when he destroyed the eventual champions' powerful batting lineup.

Back problems hampered him soon afterwards and he had surgery in 2004 which involved his spine being fused by titanium wire.

Injuries continued to annoy Bond and, after playing a starring role in last December's win over Pakistan he announced his retirement from test cricket.

At the Twenty20 world championship, when New Zealand bowed out at the Super Eight stage, Bond took five wickets at 29 and an economy rate of 7.63.

There was also controversy in his career after Bond signed with the International Cricket League (ICL), which saw him banned from the New Zealand side because the competition was unsanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

He returned last year after the ban on ICL players was lifted, and secured a $US750,000 ($NZ1,050,863) contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the just-completed Indian Premier League (IPL).

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori was glowing in his praise of his major bowling strike weapon.

"We are lucky to have had a player of his stature donning the Black Cap," Vettori said.

"For me personally it is a big loss I think he could still be a really good player for us for some time to come. But I know how much effort he puts in to stay on the park.

"He knows his body and he knows what he needs to do to prepare for international cricket. Sadly for us he has decided his time has come to an end."

Vettori hoped Bond would return as a coach to help out future New Zealand fast bowlers.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Justin Vaughan also paid tribute to Bond's contribution to the game.

"We shall all miss Shane in the international arena. His speed and ability struck fear into batsmen from every team in world cricket. He has been a real matchwinner. Shane has had an inspirational presence about him and has been a great role model for younger team mates," Vaughan said.

"Shane will leave a huge gap that will be almost impossible to replace. We are saddened by his decision, but we support him and wish him all the best in his future."

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