What's On Shane Bond's Plate?

Sans lame James Bond joke.

Sans lame James Bond joke.

Last week when the Aotearoa A cricket squad was announced, many folk noted the appointment of Shane Bond as coach. The positivity of seeing how strong that A squad was and how this could translate into future Blackcaps squads, was swiftly brushed aside with the positivity of some Bondy involvement; bloody oath it's great to have Bondy back in the mix.

What's better than our young cricketers being coached, guided, mentored by Shane Bond? Well, y'all know I'm all on the buzz of getting Stephen Fleming and Daniel Vettori involved, so better than Bond would be Vettori and Fleming. Anywho, Bond was named as coach and we all celebrated, tu meke.

This was swiftly followed however by news that England were apparently keen on giving Bond an England bowling coach gig for the Ashes later this year. 

'Yeah, nah England, you can't take our Bondy away from kiwi cricket'.

There are a few layers to this yarn to explore, starting with this merely being speculation surrounding England's desire for Bond to help their bowlers in Australia. Nothing is official yet, where there's smoke there is often fire and when you ponder the benefit of having Bond guiding England's seamers in conditions he was rather successful in, it's a wise move. 

England's seam attack will be lead by Stuart Broad and James Anderson, neither of whom need technical pointers but may assist from some sneaky insight from Bond. Bond only played two Tests in Australia, he had an ODI average of 19.81 through 15 games in Australia though and these days we get more talk about the difference between the Duke ball and the Kookaburra. Bond has not only enjoyed success in Australia, he's spent much of his career using the Kookaburra.

I love this move from England if it is to go down. Bond's insight will involve getting the most out of the Kookaburra ball and the Australian conditions, there's no real need to analyze the technique of England's bowlers. This smells as though England have identified a geezer who has a specific skillset that could assist England's bowlers. Bond, for example doesn't have intricate knowledge of bowling in England with the Duke; Bond didn't play a Test or ODI in England.

Bond also has jobs with various franchise T20 teams, which he will continue with around the Aotearoa A tour to India this month. Bond will work with Brisbane Heat while the Ashes is on and he has a coaching role with Mumbai Indians. Bond's trip to India with Aotearoa A is set to be a one-off, or hopefully it will be a regular type of gig that reflects modern cricket. Bond can still have a hefty influence on kiwi cricket by leading A tours, which compliment his T20 coaching roles, thus allowing him to do both.

That sort of flexibility is ideal for a coach these days if Bond is to take up a bowling coach role with England, I'm sure they could figure out something out where Bond works with England's bowlers prior to the Ashes, before the Big Bash League begins. This is messy, but I believe this reflects the complexity of the different formats and what teams in those different formats require.

England require a coach who can show their bowlers how best use the Kookaburra in Australia. I imagine the bulk of this will be done prior to the Ashes, prior to the BBL and Bond could squeeze in some opinions regarding England's bowlers during the Ashes/BBL.

Brisbane Heat require Bond to help their bowlers execute during the BBL. This means Bond has to be hands-on during the BBL, reviewing footage, coming up with plans and giving his bowlers all the tools to perform game by game.

Doing both jobs is possible.

For us kiwis though, we have to understand that Bond was hired specifically for the A tour. We all want Bond involved more in the future, however Bond is only contracted for the A tour as this allows Bond to maintain his T20 gigs. The mercenary nature of T20 coaches could allow Bond to coach Aotearoa A, then be England's bowling coach and flip back into T20 cricket. This is how it these days and I like it.

Ideally, Bond will take up sporadic roles with NZC in the future. This will see Bond share the knowledge he has gained as mercenary coach, with Aotearoa's cricketers learning from someone who has global experience and not just kiwi coaching experience. How this Bond situation plays out could tell us a lot about the future of cricket coaching, so stay tuned.

Peace and love 27.

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