A big-money job in the Indian Premier League and far fewer nights away from home was too good to turn down for Black Caps bowling coach Shane Bond.
He’d had enough of the transient life of a cricket player and coach and spending so much time away from his family. So when he was shoulder-tapped “out of the blue” and offered a role with the Mumbai Indians, he took it.
The cash-rich IPL goes for just seven weeks whereas the demands on Bond’s time as Black Caps bowling coach are year-round and can mean months away at a time.
Bond, 39, will get to spend far more time with wife Tracey and their three children, Katie, Hayley and Ryan.
New Zealand’s last game in the February-March World Cup will be Bond’s farewell.
The new role as bowling coach under head coach Ricky Ponting, he said, was “the best of both worlds”.
“I get to coach but I get that time at home and with the potential that if you [coach in the IPL] well you could do it for five or six years.
“It was a really tough decision.
“The last 18 months in particular have been a lot of fun and I think when you look into the future and the series that are coming, against England and Australia, and the potential success ahead, it’s tough to walk away from that.”
Ponting, his new boss and the Australian great, is well aware of Bond’s ability with the ball as he was his bunny in one-day cricket. In 15 matches against Australia, Bond claimed Ponting’s wicket seven times.
Bond was quick to deflect praise over the Black Cap’s recent success to the players themselves but the facts speak for themselves.
The New Zealand side has better quality and greater depth of bowlers than arguably it has ever had.
Trent Boult and Tim Southee are both ranked among the top 10 test bowlers and have forged one of the best new ball combinations in cricket while a player with the quality of Matt Henry isn’t considered good enough to make the 15-man World Cup squad.
He was pleased with the state of the team’s bowling stocks and predicted big things in the seven-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, beginning today in Christchurch, and the World Cup.