Kiwis include Bond in contracted players~~ list

Published: Wednesday, June 1, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Wellington:New Zealand's No 1 fast bowler Shane Bond is all set to return to competitive cricket after forcing his way into the 20-man list of contracted players for 2005-06 announced by Lindsay Crocker, the New Zealand general manager.

The naming of Bond is a significant boost for genial Kiwi after their premier pace bowler suffered and then recovered from career-threatening back injuries. Bond re-entered first-class competition late last summer and has been selected for an Academy tournament in Brisbane in July.

The list also saw the retention of 35-year-old all-rounder Chris Harris while opener Mathew Sinclair and fast bowler Ian Butler have been left in the cold.

The 20-member list of contracted players:

Nathan Astle, Shane Bond, Chris Cairns, Craig Cumming, Stephen Fleming, James Franklin, Chris Harris, Brendon McCullum, Craig McMillan, Hamish Marshall, James Marshall, Chris Martin, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Michael Papps, Scott Styris, Daryl Tuffey, Lou Vincent, Daniel Vettori, Paul Wiseman.

It is worth recalling that Sinclair struggled against Australia in Test and One-day series while Butler was given few opportunities to impress and was unable to stay ahead of the returning Bond in the bowling pecking order.

Crocker said that even though Sinclair and Butler were not contracted they were still in the frame for international matches, particularly after they used 33 players over the past 12 months.

"Sinclair was not considered as an opener," he said. "As a middle-order player he ranks behind a number of other players in what is a congested area. Butler is still very much a prospect but does not make the top 20 when considered against Bond, Oram, Martin, Franklin, Mills and Tuffey."

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