New Zealand Cricket announced today [4 June] that former Indian Cricket League (ICL) players would be eligible for selection into New Zealand Cricket teams, including the BLACKCAPS.
A meeting of the NZC Board today confirmed that former ICL players would be considered for national selection, without a stand-down period, provided they could adequately prove they had severed all ties with the unofficial league.
The decision means that former ICL players could be considered for inclusion in the BLACKCAPS tour to Sri Lanka in August-September, and a New Zealand “A” tour to India in August.
NZC Chief Executive Justin Vaughan said today’s decision by the Board was “about policy rather than any player’s particular circumstance”.
“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 acknowledged that former BLACKCAPS Shane Bond and Darryl Tuffey were the most likely candidates for future selection if they were to sever ties with the ICL.
“We understand both of these players wish to return to international cricket – which would be great news for cricket in New Zealand – but we have had no formal communication from them regarding their status with the ICL.”
Vaughan said the NZC Board was adamant it did not condone unofficial cricket – and noted future ICC regulations relating to Disapproved Cricket could mean tougher sanctions on players who participated in disapproved cricket 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 would be 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.”
“We are hopeful the problems caused by the ICL and Disapproved Cricket do not return again to damage cricket around the world. This has been a difficult period but New Zealand Cricket is looking forward to being able to select our best players to compete on the international stage.”