9. Shane Bond
Shane Bond is an example of the fragility of fast bowlers in cricket. His athletic action was such that it would naturally angle in and his 150-plus kmph efforts meant the ball would swing late. Toe-crushing yorkers were a specialty and the mayhem he created with a new ball was a sight to behold. He feasted on the world’s best batsmen; Ricky Ponting fell to Bond in all of the first six ODIs they played against each other. His greatest spells were undoubtedly the hat-trick in Hobart in 2006-07 and his 6 for 23 against the eventual champions in the 2003 World Cup. With a career interrupted by frequent injuries in knees, feet and other body parts, Bond’s desire to play could never be questioned as he kept coming back into the side. Some of the trouble came from his unwillingness to reduce his intensity; had he been happy to drop his pace and take things easier, he might have played more cricket.
One of the fastest bowlers in world cricket since the 2000s, Bond’s legacy as a fast bowler is secure. He has the distinction of being the quickest New Zealander to 50 wickets in Tests and ODIs. His prematurely ended Test career is regarded by many as New Zealand’s best fast bowler since Sir Richard Hadlee. He played only 18 tests and took 87 wickets at an average of 22 and strike rate of 37.
His performance in WC 2003 is one of the finest exhibitions of fast bowling and just goes to show what kind of impact he could have had on cricket if it hadn’t been for injuries.