Bond blames weak boards for ICL bans
New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond has accused national boards of succumbing to Indian pressure by banning players who join the country's unofficial Twenty20 league.
The 32-year-old, a fearsome bowler despite an injury-plagued career, was axed from the Black Caps side in January and his contract with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) was terminated after he signed up with the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refused to grant approval to the ICL and later joined other major national boards to launch a multi-million dollar official version.
"I'm just disappointed that players are getting banned. I just don't think that is fair," Bond told Reuters in an interview.
"All boards want to make money and they have been quick to jump in with the BCCI, basically doing what they told them.
"They (boards) are really the ones who are breaching contracts and probably aren't acting ethically very well."
Bond said the boards could have made a joint demand that the ICL pay a fee in return for each player, with the money going into facilities and grassroots development projects.
He believes he would have bolstered New Zealand's thin bowling lineup and criticised NZC for going back on their word having initially granted him permission to join the ICL.
"We're professional cricketers and we should be able to play anywhere and for anyone," Bond said ahead of his debut for Delhi in the ICL's new tournament starting on Sunday.
The eight-team event also includes a Lahore side led by former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul Haq.
"It is a job and we are trying to provide and look after families," he added. "We are forced into a situation where we are getting banned from a job we want to do."
The rebel league faced trouble after it was launched last year by the diversified Essel Group, who control India's largest listed media firm Zee telefilms Ltd., with former skipper Kapil Dev at the forefront.
The BCCI rejected the ICL and later launched the Indian Premier League (IPL), with millions of dollars spent on franchises and players. The IPL starts on April 18.
International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations prevent contracted players from taking part in the non-sanctioned league and the Indian board has pushed for banning players.
Bond, who has taken 79 wickets in 17 Tests and 125 scalps from 65 one-dayers, is one of the biggest names to join the ICL, which also features many other New Zealand players, including current batsman Lou Vincent.
He admitted the bans would especially hurt teams like New Zealand and West Indies, which have a smaller pool of players.
Bond is also concerned about his contract with English county Hampshire, who have signed him as cover until Australian Shane Warne returns after playing in the 44-day IPL.
"I'm still waiting to find out," he said, laughing. "Every day is a new day."