Fit-again Bond gearing up for Zimbabwe tour

Published: Friday, July 22, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Wellington:Injury-prone Kiwi speedster Shane Bond is looking forward to force his way back to the national squad after having recovered fully from a string of back injuries.

The 30-year-old fast bowler, who suffered a second stress fracture in his back during last year's tour of England, has not played Test cricket since the tour of Sri Lanka in May 2003.

Bond recently returned from an Emerging Players tournament in Brisbane where he said he felt he was getting his rhythm back.

"As it turned out my timing was nearly spot on," Bond told New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) website on Friday.

"In the early games it was a matter of trying to get my timing and rhythm right and that took a bit of time. But by the last game I was bowling pretty quickly.

"I just need time on my feet to get back to full pace and I got very close in that last game," he said.

Bond, who has has played only 10 Tests since making his debut against Australia in 2001, taking 43 wickets at 24.30 is keen to add to his tally.

"It's up to me to force my way back into the team," he said of the Zimbabwe tour, which includes two Tests and a triangular One-day series which also involves India.

The first of the two-Tests begins in Harare on August 7.

I would love to get into the starting 11 for either a Test or a One-day International at some stage on the tour."

It may be mentioned here that the tour of the southern African country has come under intense political scrutiny, with the New Zealand government leading a push to have Zimbabwe banned from the international schedule because of concerns over human rights abuses under President Robert Mugabe.

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