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Much ado about Bond

by Bored Guest

For about a year and a half, I kept hearing comments from folks around the Sheep-Belt(New Zealand, they call it) and their brethren from certain other countries about how the evil IPL and Lalit Modi were keeping their lode star, a certain Shane Bond, away from Test Cricket. Time and again, we’d have articles from Toms, Dicks and Harrys (never found a more apt use of this phrase, I must confess!) which ran a variation of “Monster India conspiring to keep NZ from becoming #1 test nation a.k.a preventing Shane Bond from playing test cricket”.

So, what happens now? The man’s given a reprieve, and the opportunity to play Test Cricket until the sheep come home. What does he do? Promptly goes ahead and retires from Test Cricket.


Show your faces, my dear Cricket-savers from Oz, Eng and NZ. Come and argue that it was the greed of Modi, not Bond, that was the cause for him not being able to play Test Cricket. I’d love to see your tails between your legs, which is where they should be, now.

by Raj


Mahek said...

I suppose missing two years of international cricket doesn't count as depriving him. You can argue about what happened with the ICL but you can't argue against New Zealand losing out on their best fast bowler. New Zealand would be pushing England for the number 5 spot in the test rankings if Bond had been available during those two years, and I'm saying number 5 only because he would've probably missed a few of those series. With a fit Bond for two years they'd have been challenging for the number 3 spot.

Mahek said...

Since Bond's debut, this is how New Zealand have fared.

Matches with Bond: 10 Wins, 2 Losses, 6 Draws

Matches without Bond: 10 Wins, 24 Losses, 15 Draws

They played 19 tests during Bond's ban and won only four, three of which were against Bangladesh whom they played four times. This means they won only 1 out of their 15 matches against the rest. I think they'd have won atleast 5 more tests if Bond had played 9 of those 15 tests and wouldn't have lost some of the ones they lost.

Bhaskar Khaund said...

I agree 100% Mahek ...without doubt , Shane has been a big Bond for NZ. His retiring is a pity for world cricket in general.First , it means a lowering of overall standards in the sense that one team can now go from being an almost-write off to a definite-write off ;-).Second , there's wayy too much of a shortage of quality genuine quicks in the game today.

Brand builder & Story teller said...

Raj, you let us down. I'm guessing Yuvraj singh is your fave cricketer in the world.

Ben said...

Raj mate, can you point to some of these articles complaining about India keeping Bond out of test cricket. Because I doubt there were any. The fact is that Bond had indicated his intention to retire from test cricket before he signed for the ICL. And then, as now, his decision was based on injury concerns.

Far from tucking my tail between my legs, I'm going to point out that Bond's retirement from test cricket does not change the fact that the BCCI's hardline on the ICL has kept Bond out of ODI and 20-20 cricket for New Zealand for two years.

Ben said...

Actually, on second thoughts, there may have been many such articles written.

But the fact remains, it has always been injury that has blighted Bond's test career. And it is important to acknowledge that that does not excuse his ban from all international cricket.

raj said...

Ben I am glad you had second thoughts. Because a thousand such articles and blogs have been written. I have nothing against Bond, and agree with all the general sadness on his retirement.
But my battle is against those extremists who want to blame BCCI and IPL for everything- if you arent, stay cool, you are not my target.

Shane Bond had a choice to play for NZ or for ICL. He chose ICL. That's it. That shows what he valued more - test cricket or money. If he valued test cricket more(actually, why should anyone? They have a family to run. Would you give up your cosy job for running a social service organisation in Gandhigram?), he would have given up the ICL riches.

You cant blame the BCCI for this.

raj said...

And I read your article, Crucket. So, essentially, NZ are a one-man team? Isnt this the sort of argument that is held against the likes of Bangladesh that they dont produce enough world-class cricketers so they shouldnt play test cricket?
Should we do the same against NZ? I mean if you dont have enough world class players, why should you be in tier-1 test nations?
(and lets not be sentimental about history, geography etc.)

All I want is what is sauce for the goose(Bangladesh) must be sauce for the gander(NZ).
In Cricket, it never is the case.
Ofcourse, this argument is skewed and flawed but I am making this just to expose the stupidity of the equal and opposite argument that is made against the likes of Bangladesh

Mahek said...

New Zealand aren't a terrible side without Bond, they're just not great. To compare them to Bangladesh is ridiculous to say the least, more so when you consider the small population of that country compared to Bangladesh. I wonder what you'd have said if you were writing this post 40 years ago with India losing matches as badly as Bangladesh is right now.

FYI, Bond signed his contract with the ICL under the impression that he'd still play international cricket. Justin Vaughan had given him that assurance and wasn't able to deliver on it. Bond could've easily terminated his ICL contract and thrown his hat in the IPL ring, he'd have got a much higher salary. Instead he chose to honour his existing contract. Are you going to bag him for being a man of principles? said...

bond's played only 18 tests in his 'ill'ustrious career

raj said...

So, bag Justin Vaughn. Did BCCI given an assurance to Bond that he can play test cricket along with ICL.

Why should we blame BCCI for everything?

raj said...

Also, NZ for 70 years of test cricket, have only this to show. Bangladesh have only 9 years of existence. And anyway, nobody is questioning their status now post-Shakib. Which is why the calls until two years ago on stripping bangladesh of test status were stupid. Look where they are getting now with Shakib and all. If we had listened to the ECB, ACB and NZC types two years ago and stripped Bangaldesh, we wouldnt have Shakib now. And who knows what else is coming in the future?

So, there. I told you I wasnt comparing NZ and Bangladesh. I mentioned in my earlier post that it was just a stupid argument to twist a similar stupid argument on Bangladesh. The degrees dont matter. Bangla have as much right to exist as NZ.
I dont care if NZ is big or small - if they consistently suck, then they should be given the same treatment sa Bangaldesh. They arent that bad now, admitted. But for whatever reasons, if they get that bad, then there should be consistency. Those who said Bangladesh must go, should say NZ should go. People like me who supported Bangladesh should support NZ in that scenario. This is all I am saying. What will instead happen is that if NZ Cricket sucks, Eng and Aus writers who spewed venom against Bangladesh will cooly support NZ in that scenario.

Mahek said...

This is fast becoming another argument based on geographic lines so I'll focus on the original topic.

Right or wrong, the BCCI did rob a lot of cricketers of an international career. In that sense, it did act like a monopolistic organisation. They even reprimanded Ishant Sharma for being part of a tennis ball tournament. Everyone understands there's a business aspect to cricket but the same applies to a lot of other sports. You don't see FIFA banning players who promote football on their own time.

I'd have liked to see how pragmatic you'd have been if some other board had forced the BCCI to ban Sachin Tendulkar during the 1990s just because he endorsed a brand whose competitor sponsored ICC events. There can be such a thing as over-corporatism.

MadhaV said...

Missing you Bond

Ben said...

Why should we blame BCCI for everything?

Because they deserve some blame.

Look, you can blame Bond for choosing the ICL, I've certainly said my bit about that on my blog, and you can blame Justin Vaughn, as he clearly did muck things up. But that does not absolve the BCCI from blame. The BCCI ruthlessly pursued an agenda of ruining the livelihood of numerous cricketers involved with the ICL. Inexcusable behaviour.

Raj, if I am man enough to admit that Bond was partly the architect of his ban, are you man enough to accept that the BCCI are at fault for their treatment of the ICL players?

Mahek said...

Ben, it was bound to happen. The same thing happened with the players who signed up for World Series Cricket so Lalit Modi and the BCCI are as much to blame as the ICC was in the 70s and 80s.

I think Bond suffered because of Justin Vaughn unable to deliver what he promised. There's a good chance Bond would have turned down an ICL contract if he knew he'd be banned, especially because the IPL was very much in the offing. It's sad that one of the best fast bowlers of our generation lost out on 2 years of cricket, especially from a Kiwi perspective. But then there are two sides to every story and the BCCI had no choice but to resort to armtwisting.

The ICL could and should have gone to court to protest the ban but Subhash Chandra would have incurred losses in a lot of other sectors by taking on the BCCI which was run by one of the leading politicians in the country.

Ben said...

Well who knows Mahek. Everyone will have their side to the story and Bond will no doubt claim that he only signed with the ICL because he was given leave to by NZC. However, my strong suspicion is that the NZC first agreed to this because it was clear that Bond was determined to sign with the ICL.

Now, I'm standing up and admitting that Bond is at fault because I'm a New Zealander and I think you should be the first to either support or question your own, depending on what they deserve. So it really bothers me that Raj reflexively defends the BCCI when the facts just don't justify it. The cricket fans of India such as Raj should be holding the BCCI to account.

Ben said...

And I read your article, Crucket. So, essentially, NZ are a one-man team? Isnt this the sort of argument that is held against the likes of Bangladesh that they dont produce enough world-class cricketers so they shouldnt play test cricket?

Raj, I was going to let this go as a delusional rant, but your logic is so twisted that it needs to be commented on.

Your idea that Bond's retirement from test cricket absolves the BCCI from blame in his 2-year ban is a desperate argument, but the suggestion that Bond is proof that New Zealand is no better than Bangladesh is simply divorced from reality.

If you want to comment on other teams you should perhaps familiarise yourself with them first. The first person you need to familiarise yourself with is Daniel Vettori. If you cannot recognise a world-class player in Vettori then you know nothing of cricket. I suggest you also find out about Ross Taylor, Chris Martin, Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum. Any one of these players would eat the Bangladesh team for breakfast.

You should also be aware that the criticism of the Bangladesh team is not that they don't have world class players, but that they lose so much and lose to heavily.

Mahek said...

The BCCI was categorical in stating anyone who was part of the ICL would be banned, atleast they didn't make false promises to Bond. So NZC weren't exactly transparent in handling the issue either, were they? It doesn't justify the blanket ban imposed on the ICL players but Bond didn't sign with the ICL because the BCCI made false promises to him.

Don't forget the country which lost the most cricketers to the ICL was India, but then the ICL didn't try to get the ban overturned by going to court either and ultimately the players were caught in this power struggle between two corporations.

I don't know why Vaughn couldn't ask Bond to wait a few more months and sign with the IPL. The bowler would have got a much bigger contract there anyway.