Six ICL players unlikely to be considered again December 30, 2007

Marshall and Tuffey's New Zealand future in jeopardy

Cricinfo staff

Daryl Tuffey is highly unlikely to appear in New Zealand colours again after playing in the ICL © Getty Images

Hamish Marshall and Daryl Tuffey are among six players who might never again represent New Zealand after appearing in the Indian Cricket League (ICL). New Zealand Cricket has told selectors to consider others ahead of the pair, who were still in the international frame, according to the Sunday Star Times.

The other four players, Chris Cairns, Craig McMillan, Nathan Astle and Chris Harris, are recently retired and so unlikely to have been considered for New Zealand anyway. Marshall had declined a New Zealand contract last year to take up a four-year contract with Gloucestershire as a Kolpak player, but this further means he is unlikely to ever play for the country again.

In a further clampdown, the six may not even be allowed state contracts and might be paid instead on a match-by-match basis. This would mean their prospects of playing any more meaningful cricket in their country would be severely hampered. New Zealand Cricket's CEO Justin Vaughan would not confirm if there was a formal ban in place but he did say the selectors would be strongly advised to ignore the players.

"We have a preference that our selectors take into consideration the fact that that these guys have been playing in an unsanctioned competition, an event that isn't in the best interests of New Zealand or world cricket, and that we'd rather that they didn't play," Vaughan told the paper. "I don't think we can say that they're ineligible for selection.

"We'd prefer to say that the selectors will be encouraged to consider other players. There's an understanding that we don't support the ICL and that we don't want to give them unnecessary traction."

Last week it was announced that radical measures could be taken to prevent their players from signing lucrative contracts with the ICL and turning their backs on their country. These measures include increasing the number of centrally contracted players to 25 as well as increasing the value of player retainers, and the latest heavy-handed selection policy is likely to act as a further deterrent.