Banned players may play for New Zealand again

March 29th, 2009 - 2:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Auckland, Mar.29 (ANI): Former Kiwi 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 again.

Players contracted to the financially strapped, unsanctioned Indian Cricket League recently received an e-mail from tournament organisers informing them of the option.

It’s understood Himanshu Mody, the ICL’s business head, will fly to Australia to meet with ICL executive board member and famed Channel Nine commentator Tony Greig in the next 10 days to discuss the proposal.

If players choose to cut their ties with the rebel league, they will immediately become available for national selection again.

Of the former Black Caps in the ICL a list that includes Bond, Tuffey, Nathan Astle, Craig McMillan, Chris Harris, Andre Adams and Lou Vincent, only the two genuine quicks are likely to interest the New Zealand selectors.

But Bond, still New Zealand’s best bowler, has constantly talked down any chance of a return to the Black Caps although the pressure will come on him again after today’s revelations.

In contrast, the Sunday News has been told Tuffey is desperate to play for the Caps again.

His form in the four-day State Championship since it resumed this month has been extraordinary and in three matches he has taken 17 wickets at an average of 13.5.

Last night Sunday News’ cricket analyst Simon Doull led calls for Tuffey to ditch the ICL and attempt an international comeback.

“Daryl Tuffey is certainly good enough to play test cricket for New Zealand again,” Doull said. “If you look at the reasons he was left out of the side a few years back, it was because of a lack of confidence.

“To me now, he’s a guy who is training and playing harder and is more mentally ready to play international cricket.

“He could easily come back and do a great job for the Black Caps if he loses his ICL links. He’s been a leading player for Auckland in all forms of the game and he’s bowling probably as well as he has for a long time.”

The Sunday News understands that despite the release option being offered to players ICL owner Subhash Chandra has promised not to walk away from the tournament. (ANI)

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