New Zealand news October 27, 2010

'I was a victim of politics' - Shane Bond

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shane Bond, the former New Zealand fast bowler, has said he became a "victim of politics" when he was discarded by his cricket board after he signed a contract with the unofficial Indian Cricket League (ICL). Bond has said he had no regrets over his decision to play in the ICL but has admitted to being let down by New Zealand Cricket (NZC), which, he claims, had contractually allowed for participating in the league but backed out when the ICC intervened.

"What I'll never understand is why it had to be one or the other, ICL or playing for New Zealand, especially when I received a cast-iron assurance that I could do both, and my contract with New Zealand Cricket certainly allowed for it," Bond said in his book Looking Back. "In the end I became a victim of politics.

"As distasteful as that might be, I could learn to live with that, but what I can't live with is the suggestion that in the end I didn't want to play for my country."

Bond signed with the ICL in January 2008 and was not considered for the national team for nearly two years due to his involvement with the unauthorised league. He made his international comeback in June 2009 when NZC allowed players to return to the national fold on the condition that they terminate their ICL contract.

Bond, who played for Delhi Giants, was earlier in the year, snapped up by IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, who bid US$750,000 for him at the auction. He still stands by his decision to play in the ICL though. "One thing I'll never regret is signing to play in the Indian Cricket League. Not at all. I've achieved security for my family and in the long term that is more important than a few Test and one-day caps.

"Although I had been on a good contract by New Zealand standards, I hadn't got rich out of the game. I'd done all right, obviously, but I simply hadn't played long enough to accumulate the sort of income that would provide long-term security for my family once my career ended."

Bond recalled the discussion he had with NZC chief Justin Vaughan when he was told his contract with the board would be terminated due to his links with the ICL. "'Excuse me?' was about the only response I could come up with," Bond said. "So let's get this straight, it was okay for NZC to be in breach of this regulation as long as the wrong people didn't find out? Or had they just not done their homework properly? I admit I lost it a bit here and, for the first and only time, I swore at Justin."

Bond said he opted against the legal route out of consideration for himself, his board and his team-mates even though it could have worked in his favour. "There was talk that India would not honour their commitment to tour here in 2009, and that other New Zealand guys who had signed with the IPL would have their contracts torn up," he said. "I would have suffered, NZC would have suffered, and my mates would have suffered. In the end it was better just to suck it up and move on."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Derrick on October 31, 2010, 20:39 GMT

    @Amit Patel & Others - he didn't make a decision to take the money over his country - read the article!

    Bond had a contract with NZ Cricket that said he could do both; then NZ Cricket said, "Oops, our bad - you can't play for the Black Caps anymore because the BCCI (errr, ICC?) said so - Sorry mate. Good luck"

    The real issue here is the management of the BCCI being small minded, petty and unrealistic thinking they own international cricket. Rebel league? In other industries that's called comeptiton and there are laws protecting it. in cricket there's the BCCI money machine and god save those who walk in front of it. Pull your heads in and listen to the man.

    If Bond had blown the whistle & contested his contract, the Indians had already threatened to boycot the tour and would have boycotted. When the Indians did play in NZ, they effectively banned Lou Vincent & Hamish Marshall from playing because of their ICl links.

    One Cricket Board making all the waves - not one player

  • Dummy4 on October 28, 2010, 18:47 GMT

    This is all BCCI! Hate to say that but its true, how could you do this to a legend like him :(

  • Dummy4 on October 28, 2010, 18:16 GMT

    BCCI is the one who is in-charge not ICC, ICC just worked on the instructions of BCCI to nail down the players involved with ICL,

  • Dummy4 on October 28, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    For all therespect I have for Bond as a bowler, his comments here make me wonder about his maturity. No harm in making decision to otain financial seurity for your family (many of us do that), but dont go about expectating fans to praise you for being patriotic. Of course, most of us would think hard if we have to make a hard choice between making quick buccks and playing for your country. And he made one, didn't he? If he was all about patriotism, he could have skillped ICL and decided to continue to pay for NZ. Also, seems like he is pretty clueless about the politics that get played. BCCI rules cricket, just MCC did for many years. It's all about Money and NZC had to side with BCCI and takes stand against ICC for its survival. Of course it is political. But to not understand the politics and acts like a vistim is not very wise.

  • Dummy4 on October 28, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    Shane has shown a lot of class over this issue.

  • Yasir on October 28, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    @ (especially our over-reacting brothers across the border) have got yet another opportunity to throw their rants at it! As for Suresh Raina, they should understand that there was no proof in the allegations. You cannot arrest George Bush just because OSAMA claims he is his friend!....

    Dude no one is saying Raina is guilty... the point is why ICC is not investigating into this issue? why Cricinfo didn't even bother to publish a story? BTW proof or lack of it is determined after investigations and it was the power of BCCI which forced ICC not to even investigate it. The normal way for any other board except for BCCI would be to have the investigations started and get Raina cleared (like Sydney test and Pak vs Eng ODI is cleared). Can you please explain why exactly Raina case doesn't even need the investigations?

  • Dummy4 on October 28, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    @ ian_ghose As a matter of fact,the kind of example u gave has already happened in Indian cricket a few years back when Saurav Ganguly was endorsing Puma and BCCI had Nike sponsor. If memory serves, the dispute was peacefully settled.

    Also my comment were for people like u who r targeting BCCI only and not NZC.As Mr. Bond said, His career was hampered primarily due to NZC.

    And YES, I am an Indian but it doesn't mean that I will support BCCI for anything. In fact, I hated them when they conspired with Chappel against Ganguly and threw him off the team despite scoring heavily and I still hate them for that from the very core of my heart. Adios and cheers---SN

  • Gagan on October 28, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    People, GET USED TO IT! What good is power if you do not use it? BCCI has power now, and they are using it. Absolutely nothing wrong with that! They are no different from what the US does on a world political stage (Google the number of Security Council vetos by the US on matters concerning Israel when almost all of the world voted against Israel) or what colonists did in their heyday, or even what England and Australia did to Cricket just a few years ago (remember the series in Pak where English players bullied the umpire and reminder the Pakistani umpire 'we made the rules!'). So, whats so wrong with BCCI flexing its muscle now? Just stop complaining and accept that the power has now shifted to a different country (and perhaps rightfully so. Where else, other than the subcontinent, do you have such passionate fans?) and it will be that country calling the shots, at least till the time that power shifts again. So, time for the others to suck it up, just like Indians did till recently!

  • Dummy4 on October 28, 2010, 5:34 GMT

    BCCI is the CULPRIT... BCCI is the CULPRIT... BCCI is the CULPRIT... BCCI is the CULPRIT... BCCI is the CULPRIT... BCCI is the CULPRIT... BCCI is the CULPRIT... That's what I could get out of many comments here, although I totally agree with many who made similar comments. The thing is, all we could do is SHOUT as loud as possible, relax, eventually forget, look for another blog to vent our frustration, and so the story goes on, just like a never ending Bollywood move with same script, same story, same ending.

    The sad part of the story is no one in the BCCI gives a damn. At the end of the day we see many legends-in-making like Mr. Bond end their career much shorter than expected. I hope the Gods listen to us and bless us with a welcome change in BCCI and the atrocity with the cricket, players and fans ends as soon as possible.

  • Axe on October 28, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    @ Subhojit .. Somewhat agree with you. If BCCI is responsible for everything then all other Cricket boards should join hands and start protesting. And if situation demands, then even boycott playing Team India. But I bet, no board would take this step. And the reason has already been given by Shane Bond :- "One thing I'll never regret is signing to play in the Indian Cricket League. Not at all. I've achieved security for my family and in the long term that is more important than a few Test and one-day caps." Do I need to speak more ?

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