New Zealand terminate Bond contract

New Zealand Cricket has terminated Shane Bond's national contract because of his desire to play in the Indian Cricket League (ICL), but the board has not ruled out allowing the fast bowler to return in the future. Bond, who has been involved in lengthy discussions over the deal, is now free to appear in the lucrative but unofficial Twenty20 tournament in April.

NZC considered Bond's request for a release in October but wanted him to fulfil his internationals obligations until his current agreement expired in May. An ICC decision last October prevented any contracted player from appearing in an unsanctioned event without the global body's consent.

"This is a difficult situation and we must comply with ICC regulations and support other Member Countries and as a consequence can no longer entertain Shane playing for New Zealand," Justin Vaughan, the NZC chief executive, said. "At some stage in the future we may be able to welcome Shane back in, either when he is no longer playing for the ICL, or when that competition does not exist."

Bond, who will reportedly be paid whether he is injured or not, will only be required for short stints with the ICL, which did not stand in the way of his international commitments. "I believed I could continue for the term of my contract while also taking up the ICL opportunity," Bond said. "Given what has happened, I want to do the right thing by NZC, so at their request I have terminated my contract."

He has played 17 Tests and 67 ODIs and hopes to add to his tally. "I will continue to be available to play for New Zealand," he said, "and look forward to doing so once again when NZC deems this appropriate."