Wellington: Former New Zealand pacer Shane Bond has said that he became a "victim of politics" after joining the Indian Cricket League (ICL) but he has no regrets about playing in the 'rebel' twenty20 event which cost him his international career.
At the peak of his career, Bond had joined the ICL and was soon discarded by New Zealand cricket board (NZC).
In his autobiography, 'Looking back', Bond claimed NZC had contractually allowed him to participate in the league but backed out when the ICC intervened.
"What I'll never understand is why it had to be one or the other, ICL or playing for New Zealand, especially when I received a cast-iron assurance that I could do both, and my contract with New Zealand Cricket certainly allowed for it," Bond said in his book.
"In the end I became a victim of politics. As distasteful as that might be, I could learn to live with that, but what I can't live with is the suggestion that in the end I didn't want to play for my country," he added.
Bond was not considered for selection for nearly two years after he joined the ICL team 'Delhi Giants' in January 2008. But after BCCI granted amnesty to the rebel players, Bond also terminated his ICL contract to be back in the national fold.
He then signed up with IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, who bid USD 750,000 for him at the auction but Bond says he doesn't regret playing in the ICL.
"One thing I'll never regret is signing to play in the Indian Cricket League. Not at all. I've achieved security for my family and in the long term that is more important than a few Test and one-day caps.
"Although I had been on a good contract by New Zealand standards, I hadn't got rich out of the game. I'd done all right, obviously, but I simply hadn't played long enough to accumulate the sort of income that would provide long-term security for my family once my career ended."
Bond also remembers the "surreal" discussion he had with NZC chief Justin Vaughan when he informed him that his contract would be terminated due to his links with ICL.
"Excuse me?" was about the only response I could come up with. But the conversation was about to get a whole lot more surreal.
"So let's get this straight, it was okay for NZC to be in breach of this regulation as long as the wrong people didn't find out? Or had they just not done their homework properly? I admit I lost it a bit here and, for the first and only time, I swore at Justin.
"'You're telling me my international career is over because you've f***ed up?'" he wrote in his book.
Bond said he moved on without taking any legal action as it would have hurt New Zealand cricket.
"All the advice I had received suggested I would win a restraint of trade case but that would have been messy. There was talk that India would not honour their commitment to tour here in 2009 and that other New Zealand guys who had signed with the IPL would have their contracts torn up.
"So it might have been a victory for me, but at what cost? I could have been absolutely morally and legally right, but I would have ended up looking the prat.
"No one would have ended up the winner. I would have become a pariah among those who had had their IPL contracts torn up, guys I consider good friends.
"I would have felt dreadful if I had ended up costing them the type of long-term security I was seeking for myself.
"I would have suffered, NZC would have suffered, and my mates would have suffered. In the end it was better just to suck it up and move on," he wrote.