Cricket: Mills fears for future after Bond's exit

The New Zealand Cricket Players' Association (NZPCA) has expressed concerns about the future of international cricket following the departure of Shane Bond.

Bond and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed yesterday the 32-year-old fast bowler would no longer play for New Zealand after Bond took up a contract with the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League (ICL).

NZCPA Heath Mills said the precedent Bond's exit sets is poor.

Mills said the international game has been devalued as the best players are no longer playing.

Bond said he is frustrated with what has occurred and that it is the International Cricket Council stopping his Black Caps' future, not his ICL contract.

He said he was given the go-ahead by New Zealand Cricket CEO Justin Vaughan to sign the Indian Cricket League contract, not realising it would finish his Black Caps playing days.

New Zealand Cricket was forced to backtrack on Bond when the International Cricket Council would not endorse the ICL.

Mills is concerned there could be a rift in the game if the ICC and international boards do not better manage third-party involvement in cricket.

He said politics has got in the way and Bond has had to step down by mutual agreement.

NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan said it had to comply with ICC regulations "and as a consequence can no longer entertain Shane playing for the Black Caps".

"At some stage in the future we may be able to welcome Shane back to the Black Caps, either when he is no longer playing for the ICL or when that competition does not exist."

Age and injury may prevent Bond making an international comeback, but he told the Herald he would "never say never. I suppose myself I've prepared that I have finished, mentally. And if it changed next week or [in] four months, then I have to sit down and see if I have the desire or want to do it."

- NEWSTALK ZB, NZ HERALD STAFF

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