New Zealand terminate Bond's contract January 28, 2008

Bond leaves to secure his future

Cricinfo staff

Shane Bond: 'If I'm never to play again [for New Zealand] it's been a great run' © Getty Images

Shane Bond is facing the likely end of his New Zealand career after his national contract was terminated to allow him to participate in the Indian Cricket League. The decision comes after weeks of negotiations as Bond tried to find a way of mixing the two, but in the end he says he leaves with no hard feelings.

"I think everyone has acted with best intentions and then we have found ourselves between a rock and hard place really," he told the New Zealand Herald. "It's probably not a way I expected to finish. It would always be nice to go out and walk off the field for the last time. But..if I'm never to play again [for New Zealand] it's been a great run."

Although neither Bond or the New Zealand board has completely ruled out a return the fast bowler appears set to end is international days with an impressive record of 79 wickets from 17 Tests and 125 scalps in 67 ODIs. Those numbers would have been even greater had it not been for an endless string of injuries that limited his appearances and the lack of Tests played by New Zealand.

Bond, who was a policeman before becoming a tearaway quick, says he regrets not having been able to enjoy more success, but is happy with what he achieved. "I would definitely go down as a player who got the best out of myself," he said. "And that's the one thing, I suppose, as a player you hope for when you finish. By doing that I have got the record I have, and I'm proud of the record I have got. It's a shame that it can't go any further.''

With his injury prone body, Bond said that it was time he looked at securing his future which is one of the major reasons behind his decision to take the ICL over the national team. He turned down an offer to play county cricket last year to ensure he was fit for New Zealand's tour of South Africa but, without revealing the figure, found the latest offer to good to refuse.

"I have made some financial sacrifices to try to play my best for New Zealand. I think now is the time, even though I miss out on some of my goals I wanted to achieve for New Zealand, the benefits for my family are going to be there."

"The winter that has just gone I got the opportunity to go and play county cricket and had a really good offer on the table. But I turned that down because I wanted to go to South Africa [with the Black Caps] and be in the best shape I could be to go over there.

"Later on in the year I got another offer [from the ICL] - at that stage I was able to do both. So on one hand I could play for New Zealand and on the other hand secure the future of my family, which was a dream result for me."

However, Bond did sound a cautionary note regarding the explosion of Twenty20 in India in the form of the ICL and IPL which are generating huge sums of money.

"Really I think everybody is unsure about what is going to happen," he said. "I suppose what everyone can see is there's a huge amount of money in cricket, so from a player's point of view it's an exciting time to be involved in the game. But what you do hope is that we don't have a complete split, that they can find a balance that keeps everyone happy."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sanjeev on January 29, 2008, 18:23 GMT

    To read that the magnificent career of Shane Bond is likely to have been ended by the pressure of the BCCI to exclude a league which will only serve to improve and popularize cricket in India is indeed sad. Its sad because again those in positions of leadership have chosen their own personal finances over the sport. The ICL and IPL could without a doubt co-exist; there are enough international players who are interested in playing 20/20/. The BCCI ought not to interfere and critically harm a cricket league by seeking to starve it of international players. Additionally, Brian Lara was permitted to play for his native Trinidad in a Carib Beer match despite having played in the ICL. At least the West Indies are STILL strong in some areas of cricket. The right of a player to earn should be preserved as sacred and not be arbitrarily dictated by weak, uninspired and myopic Boards and Players' Associations. Every cricket fan will miss you Bondy on the international stage.

  • Mohammed on January 29, 2008, 11:11 GMT

    I believe the situation has to be looked into seriously. The ICC is losing a lot of top players. And we should run a signature campaign and send it to Mr. Sharad Pawar in having the ICL recognized by BCCI and also have it recognized by ICC. This will definitely be in favor of not only the ICC, BCCI but also favoring the TOP Players which I believe Mr.Sharad Pawar would be the first person to recognize. It will be a win-win situation for all. I would take this opportunity as a cricket lover to address to Mr. Sharad Pawar to reconsider the stand on ICL. Hope this is heard. Good luck.

  • Harsha on January 29, 2008, 8:45 GMT

    What happens to the players who are not selected for IPL? Would they not want to join ICL to maximise their earning? Would the ICC backed boards ban all these players?

    BCCI's fear of ICL and the New Zealand board's desperation to be in the bully's good books have ended bond's career.BCCI is also threatening to end the careers of several Ranji players.

    I wish that Indians would protest against BCCI's bullying tactics. This certainly would be good reason to protest, much better than the ones that take place when our team loses or when one of our senior players are dropped.

  • shuvo on January 29, 2008, 6:28 GMT

    That BCCI should knowingly take such a stance pregnant with far-reaching and terrible consequences only as a retaliatory exhibition to the ICL authorities is ridiculous, but perhaps not wholly unexpected from the power-mongers and mercenaries at the head of it. Shane Bond has been a truly amazing cricketer and despite him being somewhat of a tormentor to the Indian side over the years, I am sure most Indians will count it as a huge loss from the cricketing point of view that he won't be donning the black caps anymore. I wish someday good sense will prevail upon the BCCI, but that would mean cleansing the entire outfit of its present constituents, which, given their political and financial connexions seem almost impossible. The only effective means of retaliation probably could be for at least some of these foreign players, backed by their cricket boards, to take up arms against them in the form of legal actions etc. This cannot go on forever!

  • shuvo on January 29, 2008, 6:10 GMT

    I am an Indian and yet I cannot but fully concur with the above sentiment regarding the BCCI & its role. The heavy-handed manner in which it dealt with the ICL issue is truly regrettable. Let alone the international cricket boards and players, even within the country it is banishing many a promising young player for joining the ICL. Putting a gun to the heads of the different State Cricket Boards BCCI has ensured that the ICL won't be able to use any of their playgrounds and facilities. Not only contracts are terminated with the players, there have been desperate efforts to downplay and almost erase the part played by some erstwhile Indian national team players joining the ICL for greater financial security. It is known for sure that the PCB and Sri Lankan Board have been requested (read 'bullied') by the BCCI to take a similar stance against their players joining the ICL, but I find it hard to believe that Cricket Australia and the NZ Cricket Board too are following the same line.

  • Nicolas on January 29, 2008, 3:58 GMT

    It doesn't matter who it is, no should have the right to tell someone they can't play cricket for their country if they deserve to be. Cricket boards should focus on getting the best quality players they could on the field and not on where they are going to get ther money from. If the cricket is good they will get their cash. The ICC also needs to stop taking sides and run the game in the interest of all concerned, which includes the players. Allen Stanford has brought exitement back to West Indian cricket, not to mention the money injected to the territorial boards. I really hope much more of the really good players in world cricket follow Bond's lead just to show those sitting in ther offices who really is boss.

  • sampath on January 28, 2008, 20:29 GMT

    The outspoken statement of ShaneBond is very touching and I wish the BCCI understands from it as to how hard its illfoundfear is affecting the great cricketers from getting their fair share from the game to which they have given their all.Afterall its the players' sacrifice and performance which is the prime contributor to the richness of many cricket boards.Many earlier greats lifted up the passion for cricket without much in return. Atleast the present day players can be allowed to enjoy the opportunity. BCCI will do well by not advocating other countries to take action against players joining ICL,confining its autocracy to India alone. Posted by Rasam on Jan.28th.

  • Prateek on January 28, 2008, 18:03 GMT

    I wonder like anyone else, how two professional leagues IPL & ICL will survive together. What will public choose to watch when an International game involving their national team will be on simultaneously? I don't see myself giving more importance to these leagues over a test match or even an ODI or T20I. Whatever happens, it's wrong to deny players from making some money. The need is to view ICL as just another form of earning some extra cash for players like promoting a product or playing county cricket or doing a cameo in a movie. What are the gains by banning best players and undervaluing tests and ODIs other than to feed some administrators' egos?

  • Kalyanaraman on January 28, 2008, 17:27 GMT

    I don't see why Bond can't play in the ICL and still turn out for tests for New Zealand. Everyone has the right to maximize their earning potential for themselves and family. In the same way each nation's board must pick the best cricketers in the country irrespective of what they do when they are not playing representative cricket.

  • Jamie on January 28, 2008, 14:14 GMT

    India, whether in the form of the ICL or the IPL, and the BCCI's reaction to the ICL is now starting to show the rest of the world where the power in international cricket really lies. It is the BCCI's bullying other national boards that has caused NZC to terminate Shane Bond's contract. I would like to see some legal action taken against boards who slavishly follow the BCCI's reactions just like there was when World Series Cricket came around. The so-called "rebel" players won then and I hope they win this time.

    Can you blame players who have been messed around by selectors (Chris Read is a good example) for taking the money offered by the ICL? I can't.

    The BCCI's reaction to the ICL has started what could be a cataclysmic split in the game. It likes to use its power to bully. Can it work to clear up what could become a huge mess? I for one doubt they can.

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