Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Shane Bond quits Test cricket

New Zealand pace bowler Shane Bond has retired from Test cricket due to concerns over his ability to play five-day matches.

Bond plans to continue playing one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches for his country, however the 34-year-old decided the time was right to quit Tests.

He was capped 18 times in Tests and currently stands ninth in the ICC rankings for the long format of the sport.

Bond claimed 87 Test wickets but a recent abdominal muscle injury forced him out of the series with Pakistan, prompting his announcement today.

Bond said: "The hardest thing is that I've always considered myself a Test bowler - and it was such a great feeling to be back in the team last month and playing Test match cricket with the Black Caps.

"I've worked really hard to get back to Test match fitness - it's what I've been working towards for the past two years - and I feel I gave as much as I could.

"But looking back, so many of my injuries have come during Test cricket. Unfortunately my body just won't let me continue to play at that level, given the workload and demands of Test cricket.

"I don't want to end on an injury and I am absolutely committed to playing for the Black Caps.
"This way I hope I've got a better chance of continuing to play. I hope I'll be able to continue to contribute to the team and to New Zealand cricket fans for a while yet.

"It's been a tough call, because Test cricket remains the ultimate form of the game - but I'm comfortable I've made the right choice."

He expects to recover from his current injury within weeks, and is hoping he can remain a key player in limited-overs matches for New Zealand.

Bond said: "I'm determined to give it everything I've got, for as long as I can.
"The ICC World Twenty20 is coming up next year and then there's the World Cup in 2011.
"I'd love to help the Black Caps lift some silverware over the next couple of years."

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