The name with the surname Bond always has a special ring to it having grown up on a number of films showing the adventures of the super spy created by Ian Fleming.So when someone with the same surname came on to the cricket field, there was a natural curiosity.What made it even more interesting was the fact that this gentleman was a fast bowler.
I am talking about Shane Bond, a real life policeman who was armed with the cricket ball licensed to end the stay of the opposing batsmen at the crease. Bond was a pace bowler in the real sense of the term; the adjectives like medium-fast or fast-medium did not apply to him, he was a fast bowler.But unlike other fast bowlers, Bond did never use his mouth on the field.Those qualities made him more endearing for me.
Like most from New Zealand, Shane Bond relished playing against the traditional rivals, the Australians. There have been a few occasions when the famed Australian line-up was battered into submission by Bond.
The Indian team which toured New Zealand before the ICC World Cup of 2003 in South Africa found it almost impossible to counter the pace bowlers of the home team led by Bond on green and drop down wickets.
But for me, the best that Bond bowled was in the 2003 ICC World Cup versus Australia at Port Elizabeth. The first four batsmen consisting the likes of Gilchrist, Hayden, Ponting and Martyn in batting order all fell to the pace of Bond. Hogg and Ian Harvey also became the victims of genuine pace coupled with bounce and movement. The scoreboard read 7 wickets down for only 84 runs and Bond’s figures read 6 for 23.That day, Bond was unplayable.
Once Bond finished with his spell, things became cooler and the Aussies recovered thanks to the efforts of Bevan and Bichel.That speaks volumes of the impact of Bond. The Aussies with a much greater dept in their bowling could successfully defend a small score.
Recurrent injuries put Bond more in the confines of the surgeon’s table and less on the cricket field. After a while in the T20 circus, Bond called it a day.
Sadly, this Bond did not have a victorious ending as is the case with the other Bond.