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New Zealand Cricket backs BCCI

cricket Updated: Aug 30, 2007 20:16 IST

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New Zealand Cricket on Thursday joined the BCCI chorus by refusing to allow any of its contracted players from playing in the rebel Indian Cricket 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," said NZC Chief Executive Justin Vaughan.

"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," he was quoted as saying by the local media.

The New Zealand Cricket acted tough apparently because its prized players Test captain Stephen Fleming and fast bowler Shane Bond were being linked to the ICL.

Vaughan said the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association 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.

Vaughan said the ICL, though unsanctioned, was a threat to the NZC and its commercial arrangements.

"Events such as the ICL could have the potential to compete with official international events and erode their value. 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."