12:00 AM, May 15, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 15, 2010

Bond calls it quits

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Afp, Wellington


New Zealand fast bowling star Shane Bond said Friday he was ending a playing career which combined spectacular success with a frustrating succession of injuries.
The 34-year-old, who announced his retirement from Test cricket in December after yet another injury cut short his series against Pakistan, said he was unwilling to compromise his standards by continuing in international cricket.
"I know the time is right for me to step down," he said in a statement announcing his retirement from all cricket.
"I dreamed of playing for New Zealand when I was six. The reality of what has unfolded was more than I could ever hope for and I have been extremely proud to represent New Zealand.
"I am going to miss a lot of this but I know now is the time to bow out."
When fit, Bond was New Zealand's best fast bowler since Richard Hadlee and he ended his Test career with 87 wickets from 18 matches at an average of 22.09.
In 82 one-day internationals, he captured 147 wickets at an average of 20.88 and in 20 Twenty20 matches he had 25 wickets at 21.72.
The former police officer combined blistering pace with precise control and swing, but a string of injuries frequently interrupted his career following his international debut in 2001.
Bond told journalists after returning from the Twenty20 World Cup he was feeling his age since a one-day series against Australia in March.
"I just felt like I was starting to slow down. The body's obviously been battered a bit and I suppose I'm coming up to 35."
"I noticed getting out of bed in the mornings, getting myself up for training is tougher."
Looking ahead, he was not enthusiastic about doing the work required to ensure he was fully fit for upcoming tours to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India.
Not only injury interrupted Bond's career.
He joined the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2008, believing he had an understanding with New Zealand Cricket that he would be able to continue playing for his country. But he was subsequently banned when the ICL was declared an unauthorised competition.
He returned to the national team last year and insisted Friday there were no hard feelings over the episode.
"I finish happy, no ill-feeling towards anyone. I've been very lucky during my career, I've had ups and downs but I look back with great pride."
New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said Bond would be "almost impossible to replace".
Captain Daniel Vettori agreed, saying New Zealand had been lucky to have a player of Bond's stature.

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