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28 Jan 2008 11:27
New Zealand will dump star paceman Shane Bond after he signed for the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL), the country’s cricket board confirmed on Monday.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has been trying to persuade the injury-prone 32-year-old to stay in the official fold, but no solution could be found.
It means Bond will be out of contention to play England, who arrived in New Zealand Monday, in three upcoming Tests and five one-day internationals.
Bond’s New Zealand contract, which was not due to expire until May, had been terminated by mutual agreement, NZC said in a statement.
Bond originally asked for a release to play for the ICL in October last year and NZC had indicated this would be possible if the speedster fulfilled his national team obligations until his contract ends.
But at the end of October the International Cricket Council (ICC) ruled no contracted international player could be released for the rebel league.
“This is a difficult situation and we must comply with ICC regulations and support other member countries, and as a consequence can no longer entertain Shane playing for New Zealand,” NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan said.
There had been speculation Bond could launch legal action against New Zealand Cricket for preventing him from playing for both the ICL and New Zealand.
The terms of his contract do not forbid him playing for other competitions.
Bond said on Monday he had believed he could continue to fulfil his NZC contract while playing for the ICL because their programmes do not clash.
“Given what has happened, I want to do the right thing by NZC, so at their request I have terminated my [New Zealand] contract,” he said.
“I will continue to be available to play for New Zealand and look forward to doing so once again.”
Vaughan said he hoped Bond would return to the national team in the future when he has stopped playing for ICL, or the rebel league folded.
Bond has taken 79 wickets in 17 Tests at an average of 22,39 and 125 wickets at 19,32 in 67 one-day internationals, with frequent interruptions due to injury since his international debut in the 2001/02 season.—Sapa-AFP
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