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Former New Zealand quick on England's radar

The Name's Bond. Shane Bond. With bowling coach Ottis Gibson joining Proteas as head coach in October, The Cricketer has learned that former Black Cap seamer Shane Bond may be his replacement, albeit initially on an interim contract.

Bond, a genuine quick who was plagued by injury through his career, is contracted to coach (alongside his former team-mate, Daniel Vettori) with Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash from Dec 19 until the tournament’s conclusion on Feb 4.

With the Ashes series set to run until Jan 9, and with Bond coaching the Black Cap A Tour six-week to India in October 2017, Trevor Bayliss is said to have made an approach along the lines of that made to Mahela Jayawardene when the Sri Lankan great worked as a batting consultant in a similar interim arrangement.

“It's a short-term contract which ends after the New Zealand A tour, and after that, he's a free agent. He could leave with our blessing, no problem at all," confirmed NZ Cricket Public Affairs Manager Richard Boock.

Bond, 42, has been credited as the man behind the resurgence and improvement of Tim Southee and Trent Boult, who are now widely regarded as one of the best new-ball partnerships across all three formats of the International game and is highly rated by all within the sport. He also coaches Mumbai §Indians on the IPL.

An added attraction to Bayliss and the ECB is the New Zealander’s knowledge of using the less favourable Kookaburra ball effectively in overseas conditions, something that has proven to be the Achilles heel of both James Anderson and Stuart Broad in previous trips Down Under.

Bond, a former policeman, is said to be a meticulous planner and an outstanding analyst of batting weakness and would command the respect of the senior England seamers.  However, a committed family man, Bond has pushed back at long-term appointments before, citing a combination of the time away from his young family, and concerns that a long term arrangement could curtail his luratice T20 roles with the Mumbai Indians and Brisbane Heat.

It remains to be seen if Brisbane will release the Black Cap from his existing commitments, but with the England commitment only affecting three weeks of the Big Bash season, it’s considered to be unlikely that the Queensland side will stand in Bond’s way.

Bond played only 18 Tests before injury – chiefly back problems - curtailed his career. He made his test debut in Hobart in 2001, thereafter taking 87 wickets at 22.09 with a best of 6 for 51 against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo in 2005. He also a had a brief spell with Warwickshire.

Words by James While