When Shane Bond speaks, people tend to sit up and take notice.
Opposition batsmen certainly did when the former Black Caps paceman terrorised them by making the ball talk throughout his career.
But at the Waitaki Boys’ High School Hall of Memories on Saturday, it was a different kind of talking that had people’s attention.
Bond was guest speaker at a black tie dinner, dance and charity auction fundraiser to help send junior and senior Waitaki Boys’ cricket teams on a tour to Melbourne next year.
The senior team is made up of players from the school’s First XI and North Otago age-group teams, and the junior team will be year 9 and 10 players.
Bond, who spoke to school cricketers before the event and greeted guests as they arrived, said the tour would be exciting for all involved.
“Not only from a cricketing perspective, but to travel away with your friends and get an overseas experience is pretty cool as well.
“I went away as a 16-year-old for the first time on a cricket tour and just loved it. For the group to go over and experience something different, play different cricket teams and spend some time together is pretty exciting.”
It would also teach the young players how to handle “adaptability and resilience” – important attributes for successful cricketers.
His advice was simply to “enjoy it”.
“It’s important for teachers and coaches to foster that and harness that so these kids have a great experience when they’re in Melbourne, and, hopefully, keep them in the game.”
Waitaki Boys’ First XI player Blake Martin said he had seen footage of Bond in action.
“He was an amazing player”.
At Waitaki Boys’, Bond spoke about his cricket career, followed by a question and answer session with former Otago fast bowler Warren McSkimming.
“It was amazing. He was so humble. He had all of the boys in the dining room, talking to them beforehand .. his speech and style was amazing. It was about him, not his stats, and his way of life in India and his years in the cricket world,” Waitaki Boys’ teacher in charge of cricket Sandra Kitto said.
Bond donated five cricket shirts to be auctioned off, including two Mumbai Indians tops, one signed by the squad and another by Indian great Sachin Tendulkar, and a Black Caps training shirt signed by the New Zealand 2015 Cricket World Cup squad.
Those, along with other items, raised $11,500.
Bond, who claimed 87 wickets in an 18-test career curtailed by injury, is head coach of Australian Big Bash side the Sydney Thunder and bowling coach of the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.