Bond ruled out of first Test
New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond has been ruled out of next week's first Test against England, coach John Bracewell confirmed.
New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond has been ruled out of next week's first Test against England, coach John Bracewell confirmed on Sunday.
The news comes as a double blow for New Zealand who crashed to a nine-wicket defeat to Kent at Canterbury on Sunday during a match where Bond did not feature after suffering the effects from bowling earlier in the game.
Bond had made rapid progress since returning from a year on the sidelines with a stress fracture of his back and team bosses had considered selecting him for the Lord's opener, starting Thursday.
Bracewell, a former New Zealand off-spinner, conceded that they were now hoping that he would be fit for the second match at Headingley a fortnight later.
"Shane is struggling with his fitness and so we are staying with our original plan. He's still on target for the second Test," said Bracewell.
"He has suffered from fatigue, tiredness and muscle stiffness but there is no structural problems and that is a huge relief to us."
Bracewell said that they were more confident about captain Stephen Fleming, who has missed two tour games with a groin strain.
"Stephen is good. We are confident he will play," Bracewell told the BBC, downplaying their defeat against Kent.
"We haven't had a lot of practice outdoors so while we came into the match trying to win it, we have been beaten by a side which put it together on the day," Bracewell said.
"I think Kent played very good, disciplined cricket, which is why they are one of the top teams in county cricket."