Indian Cricket League March 29, 2009

ICL offers to release New Zealand players

Cricinfo staff

Will Shane Bond be back in New Zealand colours? © Getty Images

The New Zealand players involved in the ICL have received an e-mail from the tournament's organisers stating that they will be released from their contracts if they request for a termination, New Zealand's Sunday News has reported.

Justin Vaughan, the chief executive of New Zealand Cricket (NZC), told the paper that if these players end their association with the unofficial league, they will be immediately available for selection to the New Zealand national side. Besides fast bowlers Shane Bond and Daryll Tuffey, the other active New Zealand players who are part of the ICL are allrounder Andre Adams and batsman Lou Vincent.

"We wouldn't stand in the way of any players returning to the Black Caps if they aren't tied to the ICL," Vaughan said. "We've made it pretty clear from the start that while we can't select players for New Zealand who are contracted to the ICL, if they end their ties with the league they would be immediately reconsidered for the national side."

Senior ICL officials were not available for comment when contacted by Cricinfo.

The ICL had cancelled its March-April international programme due to the deepening economic recession and non-availability of Pakistan players. The unauthorised league has also placed on hold its payments to several players pending a performance appraisal. Besides, recent reports have suggested that several Pakistan cricketers who are a part of the Lahore Badshahs, the biggest drawcard of the ICL, want to sever their links with the league and return to international cricket.