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Bond And Other ICL Players Available For NZ

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Bond And Other ICL Players Available For NZ

Wellington, June 4 NZPA - New Zealand Cricket (NZC) will welcome Indian Cricket League players back with open arms -- as long as they can prove they have severed all ties with the unsanctioned competition.

India have ordered a stand-down period for returning ICL players before they can be considered for international selection, but NZC announced today New Zealand players would be eligible for selection into national teams, including the Black Caps once they met that one condition.

Today's board decision means that former ICL players will be considered for inclusion in the Black Caps' tour to Sri Lanka in August-September, and a New Zealand A tour to India in August.

The New Zealanders aligned to the ICL are Shane Bond, Daryl Tuffey, Hamish Marshall, Lou Vincent, Andre Adams, Chris Cairns, Craig McMillan, Chris Harris and Adam Parore.

NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan said the board's decision was "about policy rather than any player's particular circumstance".

Vaughan acknowledged that Bond and Tuffey were the most likely candidates for future selection if they broke with the ICL.

"We understand both of these players wish to return to international cricket -- which is great news for cricket in New Zealand.

"Like other boards around the world we have had to clarify our position on how to deal with former ICL players who wish to return to international cricket," Vaughan said.

"We consider ours is a reasonable policy.

"Individual players need to make their own decisions over their future with the ICL.

"Today's decision is by no means a guarantee of selection for any player -- all former ICL players would need to earn their way back into the national side on merit."

Vaughan said the board was adamant it did not condone unofficial cricket and noted future ICC regulations could mean tougher sanctions on players who participated in non-sanctioned events in the future.

"There's no question that New Zealand suffered heavily from the ICL -- our national side lost a significant number of top players.

"New Zealand wants to have a top-ranked national team and this is very hard when you are unable to select from all your best players.

"Many of the ICL players have had limited cricket over the past 12 months and there has been no ICL cricket played since 2008.

"The earliest time former ICL players would be eligible for selection is in August, which would amount to almost 12 months since the last ICL event.

"Taking all these factors into account the board felt there was little justification for a further stand-down period."

Vaughan was hopeful the problems caused by the ICL do not return again to damage cricket around the world.

The ICL, bankrolled by one of India's largest media firms, launched the league following India's triumph in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in 2007.

Apart from several fringe Indian players, it signed overseas players, particularly from Pakistan, New Zealand and Bangladesh.

However, the BCCI, concerned the league would undermine its position, refused to recognise it and persuaded other national boards to ban players who signed up.

The International Cricket Council had in April rejected an application from the ICL seeking approval for their Twenty20 competition.

NZPA WGT pm nb

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