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Rediff.com  » Cricket » ICL ready to off-load Kiwi players

ICL ready to off-load Kiwi players

March 29, 2009 17:13 IST

The rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) is ready to off-load its New Zealand players like Shane Bond and Daryl Tuffey if requested, thus making them eligible for a national call-up.

According to a report in The Sunday News in Wellington, the likes of Bond and Tuffey would be allowed to leave by the recession-hit league, which is fighting a grim battle to get International Cricket Council's recognition in the face of tough opposition from the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

"Rebel cricketers including Shane Bond and Daryl Tuffey have been told they will be released from their ICL contracts if they request a release next week a move which will allow them to play for the Black Caps," the report stated.

"Players contracted to the financially-strapped, unsanctioned Indian Cricket League recently received an email from tournament organisers informing them of the option," it added.

New Zealand Cricket boss Justin Vaughan said NZC would be happy to welcome back the cricketers into the national side if they decide to end ties with ICL.

"We wouldn't stand in the way of any players returning to the Black Caps if they aren't tied to the ICL," Vaughan said.

"We've made it pretty clear from the start that while we can't select players for New Zealand who are contracted to the ICL, if they end their ties with the league they would be immediately reconsidered for the national side," Vaughan added.

The newspaper said ICL business head Himanshu Mody will be in Australia in the next 10 days to meet the league's executive board member Tony Greig to discuss the proposal.

Apart from Bond and Tuffey, the other Black Caps in the ICL list are Nathan Astle, Craig McMillan, Chris Harris, Andre Adams and Lou Vincent.

Of them, a bitter Bond has vowed never to return to the national team because of the way he was abandoned by New Zealand Cricket after joining ICL.

But the newspaper said "Tuffey is desperate to play for the Kiwis again."

Vaughan said the development is a positive one for the country's cricket.

"It would be a good thing for all of cricket if this happens. You want your national team to include the very best players and I think it's quite clear we haven't been able to do that in recent times.

"If some New Zealand players were to finish with the IPL that would certainly be good for cricket in this country. It would also depend whether those individuals would be interested in playing for New Zealand again," he added.

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