Any peace deal brokered between Indian cricket’s board of control and the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) is unlikely to see Shane Bond resurrect his international career with New Zealand.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) intends to hold talks with the country’s unofficial Twenty20 league, whose players are now banned from all official cricket.
The BCCI took the decision after International Cricket Council (ICC) president David Morgan last week met officials of the ICL, which is seeking approval from the ruling body.
The BCCI outlawed the ICL and promptly set up its own Twenty20 competition — the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Launched in 2007, the ICL has signed up many former internationals, including Bond, and is proving to be drain on the talent of smaller nations.
It stunned the Bangladesh Cricket Board last month when 13 players, led by former skipper Habibul Bashar, joined the ICL.
An ICC sub-committee is working on a final draft on new regulations on official and unofficial cricket.
Bond, who is still ranked as the fourth best one-day international bowler on the ICC rankings despite not having played since April last year, was hopeful “commonsense” would prevail and the ICL would ultimately be sanctioned by the ICC.
However, if ICL players were eventually allowed to play international cricket it is unlikely Bond would reprise a career marked by stunning spells — and frustrating injuries.
Bond, who was released from his New Zealand Cricket contract late last year after signing with the ICL, erred on the side of caution when the prospect of a comeback was raised on Thursday.
“I don’t know. It’s a chapter I’ve sort of shut in some respects,” he told RadioSport.
“I’m not getting any younger, I’m 33 now … the grind of international cricket is hard work.
“If a decision is made in the near future I’ll sit down with Trace (wife Tracy) and have a chat about it … but I’ve got a pretty good lifestyle now.
“I can play in India for four months, the rest of the time I’m at home with my three kids — it’s worked out pretty good,” Bond said.
If the player ban was lifted and Bond decided to be available for New Zealand again it would only be for the one-day and Twenty20 formats. Test cricket was no longer part of his plans before he signed with the ICL.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said talk of Bond’s return and a thawing of the relationship between the BCCI and ICL was premature.
“It’s good to see a slight thawing in the relationship … but how long it takes to happen is anybody’s guess,” he said.
Bond, who plays for Delhi Giants in the ICL, took 79 wickets at an average of 22.39 in 17 tests and 125 wickets at 19.32 in 67 one-day internationals.
Former internationals Lou Vincent, Chris Cairns, Craig McMillan, Nathan Astle, Darryl Tuffey, Chris Harris and Hamish Marshall are also contracted to the ICL.
Vincent and Marshall are the two most recent internationals but are unlikely to be required if and when the ban is lifted.