I had a ball playing against the youngsters at Hamilton last Sunday. It has stirred my appetite after five years out of the game and made me take a serious look at a return in the Twenty20 version of the game.
I hadn't put on the gloves since the day I walked off Eden Park - they have been in a box in storage but when I put them on it felt like they hadn't been off.
Before the game I'd wondered how I would go. My expectation was that my level of performance would be the same as always and so it proved. I had no trouble getting around the field or with my work rate. I gloved it a bit hard at times but given another spell in the field that will come right fast.
When I stepped down it wasn't because I didn't enjoy it anymore or through injury or because I was no longer good enough, it was just that I had other things I wanted to do. My hunger to play has remained undiminished although the days when I could commit 12 months of the year to the Black Caps touring schedule are obviously long behind me.
Twenty20 will be really important. It's a good format as the public wants to see runs scored and wickets taken and it delivers both of these.
From a player's perspective it appeals. Stephen Fleming agreed that if we were a few years younger then this would certainly be our game. It could also be a lifeline for those in the twilight of their careers or with injury problems. Someone like Shane Bond could go on another five years in Twenty20 because he would have to bowl only four overs a day.
Dion Nash too could stage a Twenty20 comeback if he chose to. He got it through at a reasonable clip last week and has lost none of his fire.
One thing that struck me was the incredible depth of talent and experience that has been lost in recent years as my generation have moved into early retirements. If New Zealand Cricket is looking for a way to inject some grunt into domestic cricket it should have a think about a Super 14-style Twenty20 league and mix the recently retired with the best of the current first class crop. If the right opportunity came along, I'd certainly look at it.
Bangladesh appear a useful side. They are not on the same rung as the Black Caps but they are a team that plays well in patches.
Some might question why we bother playing a low-ranked country that doesn't draw a big crowd or make much money and how good a preparation that is for the series against England. It is important in many ways. The Black Caps will take confidence out of not being beaten.
The series in South Africa and Australia went true to form, they were beaten by the two best teams in the world and our batsmen found it hard going against the game's leading pace attacks. While our batters remain inexperienced, they have all proved they are capable of getting runs. What we've seen is individuals performing rather than three or four guys stepping up in each game.
What they need to do now is to get consistency of performance through the team and carry that momentum into the games against England. They will get better.
The Black Caps need to keep going as they did in the first ODI against Bangladesh. There was nothing extraordinary - the bowlers worked hard and kept the pressure on and eventually a raft of wickets came cheaply. It's exactly what the Aussies do to us. I don't think they have to do anything too differently against England, just play with consistency and maintain pressure.
As to the value of the Bangladesh series, there is not a lot of money in it and it's hard to imagine the players getting highly excited about it. But we have to play Bangladesh to grow the game. In 10 or 15 years they will be as good as Sri Lanka, India or Pakistan as they have the population and the same love for the game. It's not so long since New Zealand was in their position.
Sky TV's ban on interviewing Black Caps coach John Bracewell seems a strange decision and one which is clearly not commercial. It is fairly well known that Bracewell and Sky's Martin Crowe don't get on, but to remove the coach's view seems odd.
I can't see how banning the NZ coach enhances the product, given he is the key person in the Black Caps' set-up when it comes to strategy and selection. I suspect Crowe thinks Bracewell talks a load of rubbish and so adds no value whatsoever.
I hear Bracewell is delighted as he has better things to do with his time. Why don't we put them both in a room and the last man standing can coach both the team and the commentators? Now that would be a contest worth watching ...
For the record, former New Zealand wicketkeeper Adam Parore is 36.