Sydney Thunder are on the lookout for a new BBL head coach after Shane Bond made the understandable decision to put family before career next summer and step away from the team for BBL|11.
The ramifications of the global pandemic have forced Bond on the road for the best part of a year and the former New Zealand international star will now put family first and spend the bulk of the 2021-22 summer at home in Christchurch.
BBL|11 was to have been Bond’s fourth with Thunder, following three seasons in Brisbane with the Heat. Under Bond the Thunder qualified for consecutive final series in BBL|09 and BBL|10 for the first time in the club’s history.
Bond said he would miss the Thunder Nation but the timing was right to spend some time in New Zealand.
“I loved my time with the Thunder but with so much uncertainty around travel restrictions these days and not knowing what that might look like I just didn’t want to miss another summer at home,” Bond said.
“I haven’t had one there for six years and my wife Tracey has had to carry the load. I want to be there again before I get to the point where my girls get to the end of high school. My son has some important cricket coming up too and I want to be there for that.
“I’ll miss the boys at the Thunder, all the people from players to management. It’s a great club to be a part of. I’ll miss everybody. That will be the hardest thing.
“I’d like to thank the club, especially Chris Botherway who was the GM during my last few years there and also Callum Ferguson who was our captain and someone I worked very closely with.
“I want to thank my support staff as well for their hard work and friendship. Those guys are legends.”
Cricket NSW Head of Cricket Greg Mail paid tribute to Bond and thanked him for his commitment and service to the Thunder.
“Shane has done a fantastic job over the last three years, ensuring the Thunder are in a good place for whoever takes on the role,” Mail said.
“He has been critical to the emergence of some brilliant young NSW based talent over the last two years whilst also bringing the best out of some of our established local and international players.
“We are a values-based organisation and although we would have loved to have seen Shane at the helm next summer, choosing to spend time with his family is a decision we respect.
“His decision sits well with us and we wish Shane, Tracey and family all the best. We hope there’s a second chapter in the Bond/Thunder story somewhere down the track.”
Cricket NSW have already begun their search for a new head coach.