Having severed ties with the Indian Cricket League, New Zealand pacer Shane Bond is now a sought-after property among the cash-rich Indian Premier League franchises, his agent has claimed.
Bond, who is set to return to the national fold during September’s tour to Sri Lanka, will wait for further clarity on the eligibility of former ICL players playing in the IPL.
“There has been lots of interest from the IPL franchises but that’s all on hold at the moment until the rules are clearly established by the tournament organisers anyway,” Bond’s agent Leanne McGoldrick said.
“Shane’s focus is on playing for New Zealand, that is his absolute priority as of now,” McGoldrick was quoted as saying by a website.
Former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull believes that Bond can command a huge sum if he hits form for New Zealand.
“There’s no doubt Shane will be commanding some interest with the IPL franchises and I expect he’ll be keen to pick up a contract especially now he’s lost out on some so-called big money from the ICL,” said Doull.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief Heath Mills has urged the ICC to make the international schedule in such a way that the Black Caps are able to play in the IPL next year.
A number of New Zealand players have delayed signing their NZC contracts until they get an assurance that next summer’s tour by Australia won’t clash with the IPL tournament.
The deadline for signing the contracts is July 24. The IPL is expected to start in early April and the Australian tour could result in the players missing out on substantial earnings.
“The big boards and the ICC need to put in place an international programme that has windows so that guys can participate in the IPL but also play international cricket,” Mills said.
“If they don’t get a clear programme where these things fit, they are simply going to force players to make a decision.”