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New Zealand Cricket takes hard line on rebel cricket league

New Zealand Cricket takes hard line on rebel cricket league

New Zealand Cricket will not release any of its contracted players to play in a rebel series in India, signaling a hardline stand on the Indian Cricket League and other unsanctioned competitions.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan stopped short Thursday of threatening legal action against players who participate in the new competitions, but newspapers reported NZC is prepared to sue for breach of contract any player who joins a rebel league.
"We have considered this issue carefully and have concluded that New Zealand Cricket cannot agree to release our contracted players to participate in the ICL," Vaughan said.
"We have entered into these contracts in good faith and stand by our players through their contract period. We expect players to treat us the same way."
New Zealand Cricket's statement seemed particularly targeted at test captain Stephen Fleming and fast bowler Shane Bond, who have both been linked to the Indian Cricket League.
The Dominion Post newspaper reported Wednesday that some NZC board members are so incensed at Fleming's alleged dalliance with the rebel competition that his future as New Zealand's test captain is in doubt.
Vaughan said there was no question the ICL was unsanctioned and was a threat to the NZC and its existing commercial arrangements.
"Events such as the ICL could have the potential to compete with official international events and erode their value," said Vaughan.
"Added to this, the proposed rebel league is scheduled to directly conflict with the (New Zealand) tour to South Africa as well as the start of our domestic season."
Vaughan said the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association, effectively the trade union for professional cricketers, supported the NZC's stand.
"We value our positive relationship with our players and the Players Association and I have communicated with our players to ensure they understand the reason for New Zealand Crickets position and why it is in the best interests of the sport," he said.
The ICL has drawn comparison with Kerry Packer's rebel cricket series of the 1970s, which attracted many of the world's leading players.
Former West Indies captain Brian Lara, Australians Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath and South Africans Lance Klusener and Nicky Boje are among players linked to the competition.


Updated : 2020-12-02 21:42 GMT+08:00