“Ridiculous” is the word Shane Bond chooses to describe the decision of the various cricket boards to ban Indian Cricket League players. Dressed in a tee and shorts, the Delhi Giants' pace spearhead seemed at ease when Hindustan Times caught up with him in a five-star hotel for an exclusive chat.
How did the last season pan out and what are your expectations this time?
The first season exceeded my expectations. I suppose, this time it will be a lot more competitive as we have a new team Dhaka Warriors joining us, and the players are a good bunch.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board has banned the players for 10 years.
Yes, I am aware. I don’t understand why the boards are banning the players. Every player has a right to earn a living and he should not be stopped from playing for the country.
If the players were happy with their boards, they would not have joined the league. The officials need to introspect before blaming ICL for the player exodus.
Cricket revolves around the players and they need to be taken care of.
How do you view Sri Lanka Cricket’s decision to allow ICL players in a domestic tournament?
It’s a good decision and was bound to happen. As ICL grows, it is putting more pressure on the boards. A lot of countries can’t afford to lose players and allowing them to play is a viable option.
What is the situation back home?
We have as many as nine players in the league. Considering this, I can say New Zealand has suffered in the short-term. I can’t say the same for the long term. But, it’s the same everywhere.
Unfortunately, New Zealand Cricket is of the opinion that ICL is a mess and should be squashed. To me, it is the same as IPL. Both are good for cricket and the ICC needs to do something to make them co-exist.
What’s your take on the ICC accepting ICL’s demand for a meeting?
It is a step in the right direction. Last season, Mr. Subhash Chandra had addressed us and I liked his innovative idea. A lot of ICL players want to go back home and play and it would be nice if they could do that.
Do you think cricketers instead of administrators should run the board?
There should be a mixture of both. Cricketers need to be there as they are sympathetic to a player’s needs and administrators are required for the smooth functioning.
ICL is planning to promote local talent this year through a campaign Cricket Hai Meri Life. How do you see this move?
It’s great. Last year, the quality of local talent was terrific. I think the boys have the goods to make it to the national side. You just can't afford to miss out on local talent.
It’s the perfect way to groom youngsters.