Wednesday, 6 March 2013


Bond - not made of granite
As Scotland's cricketers do battle with Afghanistan in the UAE in a pair of matches which will go far to determine whether they compete in the 2015 World Cup - COME ON SCOTLAND - England's cricketers resume Test match duty in Dunedin.

Dunedin is nicknamed the Edinburgh of the South - its name is a rendering of Dùn Èideann, the Gaelic for Edinburgh, The city was founded in 1848 by the Lay Association of the Free Church of Scotland who had a mind to imitate Edinburgh's lay out and architecture which did not fit too easily into the topography. But many street names are derived from Edinburgh.

The cities entered a twinning relationship in 1973. One of the fruits of the twinning is a pair of reciprocal sculptures by Sylvia Stewart. The one in Edinburgh sits in Leith and is formed from a 2 tonne volcanic magma boulder, brought from the Water of Leith near Dunedin. In return Dunedin got 2 tonnes of Aberdeenshire granite but the City Fathers have struggled to find a place to site it. It is a local controversy of some proportion - not unlike Edinburgh's trams.

All this is of little interest to cricketers. What is of interest is that the Edinburgh of the south is the southernmost Test venue in the whole world. Four Test matches have been played at the University Oval. One, played in November 2009 was a classic. New Zealand beat Pakistan by 32 runs. Shane Bond took 8 for 153 in a match winning performance. Sadly it was his last Test - and only his 18th in total in a career interrupted by repeated injury. His 18 Tests produced 87 wickets at 22.09 and his 82 ODIs 147 wickets at 20.88, including 44 against Australia at a mere 15.79.  

A great fast bowler - if he had been made of strong stuff like the Edinburgh-Dunedin sculptures he would have ranked with the greatest.

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