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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 11 March, 2003, 16:23 GMT
Bond surpasses hero Hadlee
By Thrasy Petropoulos
BBC Sport in Port Elizabeth

Sir Richard Hadlee was once waiting for a table to become available in a Hobart restaurant when Shane Bond breezed past him.

Shane Bond
Bond has given New Zealand a top-class cutting edge
"A table, Mr Bond?" the waiter asked, having just seen the bowler make his Test debut. "Certainly."

There was a time when Bond would have done anything to emulate Hadlee.

Having represented the same club side, Old Boys, as the legendary New Zealand all-rounder, he had hung on his every wicket.

He was a 14-year schoolboy operating the scoreboard at Lancaster Park when Hadlee took the wicket of Sanjay Manjrekar, his 400th in Test cricket.

The Hadlees and the Bonds ended up sitting at the same table.

And the day Bond was spotted by his hero during an intensive winter training programme would probably have featured prominently in their conversation.

Bond, who had once struggled to reach 75mph - indeed had taken seven years to take his first five-wicket haul in senior club cricket - had added pace and stamina to his bowling.

New Zealand's chairman of selectors had found his man.

I'm going all right against Australia
Shane Bond

"It was only because of him that I ever wanted to be a fast bowler," Bond once said.

After all, Hadlee had starred against the one team that every New Zealand schoolboy dreams of beating, taking 33 wickets at an average of 12.15 during the country's first Test series victory on Australian soil in 1985/86.

The rest of the team took only 22 wickets between them

But against Australia at Port Elizabeth, Bond surpassed even Hadlee by taking 6-23, the best figures by a New Zealander in one-day internationals.

"I'm going all right against Australia," he said during the interval of that match. "They're the best team in the world, so if I can go all right against them it's good stuff."

Good stuff?

Understatements do not come more loaded.

In six games against the world champions, Bond has now taken 22 wickets at 10.45.

Significantly, when Australia were beaten by 77 runs in Adelaide last winter - their third successive defeat to New Zealand in that VB Series - Bond captured five wickets for 25.

Sir Richard Hadlee
Hadlee now heads New Zealand's selection panel
It was a conversation with Chris Cairns before his Test debut in Hobart that set Bond on his way.

"He came to me before I played my first Test and asked what I wanted to do in cricket," Bond recalls.

"I said well, 'I want to play as long as I can and do OK and just contribute best I can'.

"He said, 'Nup. That's not good enough. You want to be the number one bowler in your country and eventually the world and that's your whole focus.'

"He turned me around"

After a disappointing start to the World Cup, in which he took nine wickets in six games, the focus has now returned for the 27-year-old.

For a former policeman, who was recently sidelined for five months with a stress fracture in his foot, making up for lost time is everything.





Links to more New Zealand stories


 

SEE ALSO
Australia comeback shatters Kiwis
11 Mar 03 |  World Cup


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