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Exiled Bond Officially Back In The Frame

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

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 contract 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 at the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, could be back on international duty during New Zealand's 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 and 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.

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."

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

Former opening batsman Craig Cumming and wicketkeeper Peter McGlashan -- who missed out to Brendon McCullum's deputy Gareth Hopkins -- were close to the top 20.

Veteran Styris, New Zealand's star performer 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.

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