Chennai: As the BCCI announced amnesty for the former ICL recruits, one man will be surely rubbing his hands in glee at the opportunity of playing in the IPL: Kiwi pace ace Shane Bond.
"I can't wait to get the first step back on the field," Bond, who is in Chennai with the New Zealand A team, says. "It's a second opportunity for me, and I've worked pretty hard."
He is desperate to bond with the best again. The ICL had kept him away from international cricket, but now in Chennai to play for the New Zealand Academy, the former Kiwi cop is raring to don the All Blacks again.
"My motivation has come back because I can play for New Zealand again," he says. "I suppose I have to make the most of it now. Being around the team environment, all the guys are my very good friends. I suppose not seeing them as much as I was used to was tough."
Having been named in the squad for the upcoming tri-series between New Zealand, India and Sri Lanka next month, Bond has very little time to prepare for his second spell in international cricket.
"I want to play at the same level that I did before I went away," he says. "I've always aimed to be the best fast bowler in the world. I still want to try and do that. I'm getting a bit older now, but I still can have a go."
New Zealand have signed up with WADA's anti-doping code, and the 'whereabouts' clause isn't really a concern, says Bond.
"Drug people are not going to tell you where they are supposed to be," he says. "If they do then the agreement will come to an end anyway. So I think it's just one of those things you have to do as a professional."
So beware all batsmen the world over. The 'Canterbury Express' is ready to roll out once again.
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