No clarity yet on fast bowler's future January 18, 2008

Bond included in Canterbury's Twenty20 squad

Cricinfo staff

Has Shane Bond played his last match for New Zealand? © Getty Images
Shane Bond has been included in Canterbury's domestic Twenty20 squad, but his playing hinges on whether he decides to annul his three-year contract with the Indian Cricket League.

Bond is in talks with New Zealand Cricket's chief executive, Justin Vaughan, who is making a last-ditch effort to convince Bond to terminate his contract with the ICL. But if Bond fulfills his contract with the rebel league, it could effectively end his six-year international career and delay his return to domestic cricket, as he will only be able to play [on a match-by-match basis] once his contract with the national squad expires in May. However, Bond has been cleared to play while the talks between his legal team and New Zealand Cricket are continuing.

"Shane has been passed fit and we want him to play. He is, of course, a welcome addition to our squad," Canterbury coach Dave Nosworthy told the Press, a Christchurch-based daily. He said Bond was included on the advice of Warren Frost, the New Zealand board's sport science medical coordinator, who laid emphasis on how the fast bowler acquitted himself in a club match.

Bond looked to have recuperated from an abdominal muscle strain picked up during New Zealand's tour of South Africa, as he bowled eight overs without taking a wicket and scored 45 for his club team, Old Boys-Collegians.

The board hasn't taken an official stance on players who have signed on with the ICL, but had advised the national selectors to look beyond Hamish Marshall and Daryl Tuffey, two ICL-recruits who are still on the international radar.