The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bond flies home with back injury

Dambulla: New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond flew back home Wednesday for medical attention to his injured back as the Black Caps braced for a stint without their pace spearhead.

“Shane’s back stress has shown no improvement over the past three days,” said New Zealand team manager Jeff Crowe. “It was no use making him hang around. The decision on Shane returning home was taken by New Zealand Cricket.”

Bond, 27, limped off the field after bowling five overs during Sunday’s match against Pakistan, which New Zealand won by seven wickets.

With his back pain increasing steadily, the medical team feared Bond might have suffered a stress fracture. Plans for treatment in Colombo were shelved in favour of an immediate return to New Zealand and a visit to a specialist.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden said in Auckland that Bond wouldn’t take any further part in the tri-series featuring Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Bond became the quickest New Zealander to claim 50 wickets in limited-overs Internationals when he claimed his first wicket Sunday during a five-over spell of two for seven in his 27th match, beating the previous mark of 28 matches by pace bowler Geoff Allott.

But the achievement has not brought much joy to Bond, who now faces the prospect of a long absence from the game and may miss out on a lucrative contract with English County Warwickshire.

Earlier setback

Bond’s career was interrupted by foot stress fracture last year. He was kept out of New Zealand’s match against hosts Sri Lanka Tuesday, and said he felt something was not quite right.

“I’ll wait until I get home then find out,” Bond told the New Zealand Press Association. “Either I’m heading off to England, or worst case scenario (is) I’m hurt and I can’t go.”

After the current tri-series, where New Zealand are seeking their only second one-day title away from home, the Black Caps have no international commitments until an October tour to India.

In India, New Zealand will play three Tests and then participate in a limited-overs series also involving Australia. “If I was ever going to get injured, now is the best time because we’ve got a four-month break,” Bond said.

“All going well I won’t miss any cricket at that level. It’s better for it to happen now than finish the county season and miss the whole home summer.”

Crowe said no replacement had been sought for Bond. Off-spinner Paul Wiseman, who had been asked to stay back as cover should Bond’s injury flared up, would remain with the touring side.

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