Shane Bond's potential international comeback has moved a step closer with the fast bowler reportedly confirming to New Zealand Cricket (NZC) that he has terminated his contract with the ICL. Bond has not played for his country in 18 months, since joining the unofficial Twenty20 tournament, but his decision could fast-track him into the national side for the tour of Sri Lanka in August.
Last week NZC decided that former ICL players would be immediately eligible for national selection if they proved they had cut all ties with the unofficial ICL. Bond and fellow fast bowler Daryl Tuffey, who has also terminated his ICL contract, have performed strongly in the recent New Zealand domestic season, and will be likely candidates for a recall.
NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan told the Sunday Star-Times he had received documentation from the legal representatives of Bond, Tuffey and Craig McMillan indicating they had cut ties with the ICL. "New Zealand Cricket may wish to take further legal advice on the matter but it does appear, on face value, that those three players have cut their ties with the ICL," he said. "As long as the documentation is as stated, we move ahead and the players are eligible for selection with fitness and form and all the usual selection criteria taken into account.''
Vaughan said Bond had progressed well during training. "I do know that Shane has been training pretty hard recently and is fit and has been bowling in the nets, so I would imagine that as long as this documentation is in order I couldn't see why he wouldn't be considered for selection. We're very pleased that these guys are going to be available to be selected again; it's tremendous news.''
National selector Glenn Turner said Tuffey and Bond would be considered for selection and the national panel "would look at them strongly''. The team to tour Sri Lanka will be named next month.