When Shane Bond swore at NZ Cricket boss

CONTRACTS: Shane Bond and NZ cricket CEO Justin Vaughan.
CONTRACTS: Shane Bond and NZ cricket CEO Justin Vaughan.

A devastated Shane Bond couldn't hold back as New Zealand Cricket boss Justin Vaughan told him his contract would be torn up.

"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?"'

It was the moment it dawned on Bond that his decision to secure the financial future of wife Tracey and three children had backfired, and that he might never play for his country again.

Bond devotes two chapters of his new book, Shane Bond, Looking Back, to the bitter dispute with NZC, and fallout with Vaughan, after he signed with the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League in late 2007.

According to the book, Bond agreed to be available for all his New Zealand international commitments, and received written confirmation from Vaughan that he was free to sign.

At that stage, Bond decided to retire from test cricket to extend his injury-plagued international career, and received enthusiastic responses from Vaughan and then-coach John Bracewell. Then the mood at NZC changed.

"The next call I received from Justin began ominously: `Shane, we have a problem'," Bond wrote.

The meeting with Vaughan was tense as he told Bond an ICC regulation prevented NZC from releasing him to play in the ICL.

"You can't play, we can't pick you, you're an ICL player," the book quotes Vaughan as saying.

Bond wrote: "I tried to reason with Justin. `What do you mean? I've just played in South Africa as an ICL player and, if I hadn't got injured, I would be playing in Australia, as we speak, as an ICL player. What has changed?"'

Vaughan's response: "People now know you've signed."

NZ Cricket Players Association boss Heath Mills points out in the book that ICC regulation 31.1, about "unofficial cricket events", was not mentioned in the master agreement between the NZCPA and NZC.

Bond was originally guaranteed US$200,000 to join the ICC-sanctioned Indian Premier League, but rejected the offer because his lawyers were unhappy with the flimsy two-page contract. The ICL then doubled its offer.

Bond and NZC, via their lawyers, eventually reached an impasse and NZC put out a press release saying Bond's contract was terminated by "mutual consent".

Having previously agreed to remain silent on the issue, he put on a brave face in a round of interviews.

"Then I heard Justin talking on the radio and I felt betrayed. `What can you do if somebody doesn't want to play?,' he rhetorically asked when he was questioned as to whether NZC had done all they could to keep me playing.

"I can't tell you how much that hurt. Tracey and my mother were listening too and they were mortified.

"I was on radio later that night and I let the veneer slip.

"I made it pretty clear that I was hurt by the insinuation that I no longer wanted to play for my country."

Bond was soon called by NZC media manager Steve Addison. "He said that we couldn't have this battle played out, back and forth, in the media. I told him how pissed off I was with the suggestion that I no longer wanted to play for New Zealand. In the end, Steve basically shut both Justin and I down in the media."

Bond next saw Vaughan face to face before he toured India with New Zealand A last year, and found it "a bit weird".

"I was over the bitterness I'd felt when I was originally forced out of international cricket and I was grateful for the way he had smoothed my transition back into it, but I guess I just wasn't sure how to act around him. I suspect it was uncomfortable for him too."

Bond writes that the pair drew a line under the situation and moved on. He successfully returned to international cricket before his retirement after this year's World Twenty20.

Late last night, NZC issued the following statement after the Dominion Post sought comment from Vaughan:

"The Indian Cricket League operated for two seasons after commencing close to four years ago. As the ICL was emerging, both New Zealand Cricket and Shane Bond operated in their own best interests, as they were understood at the time. The ICL has not functioned at all since November 2008 and New Zealand Cricket has no interest in revisiting the complex issues of that period. New Zealand Cricket and Shane Bond enjoy a positive, productive relationship and look forward to this continuing in the future."

Ten things you didn't know about Shane Bond, from his new book:

1. He was expelled from Harewood Playcentre, in Christchurch. "I was a terrible kid up until the age of five. Uncontrollable. It went way beyond the normal childhood tantrums. I would break stuff, smash it to bits."

2. He hasn't spoken to his father, John, for five years. "He is no longer a part of my life, or the lives of his grandchildren. It hurts when the man you grow up loving and respecting – in many respects he was my hero – lets you down."

3. He attended Papanui High School after he was refused a spot at Christchurch's St Bede's College.

4. Richard Hadlee was Bond's childhood idol. "I thought he was God. If I could have grown a moustache, I probably would have."

5. His first paid cricketing stint was in 1999 with English club Barrow, and earned him 5 per wicket, while his wife Tracey took home 120 a week working at McDonald's.

6. Brett "Binger" Lee, bowling 150kmh, caused Bond extreme terror in his first test innings in Perth. The first sledge came from the slips cordon: "He won't be able to bowl with broken arms, Binger."

7. He rates Pakistan's Wasim Akram as a fast-bowling genius. "NZ Cricket should look to get him in for a week when they go to the subcontinent, just to talk through all the different ways to get people out over there. He knows every single one of them."

8. He kept his prize for player of the VB Series in 2001-02, a giant plasma TV. But under team rules he had to buy it back at half the wholesale price: $6500.

9. Having been ranked as low as No 9 on the NZC contract list, he rose to No 2 behind Daniel Vettori in 2006, then top spot the next year. "That was a satisfying moment for me, a real goal of mine achieved."

10. Vettori shouldn't be a selector as well as captain, Bond says. "That's just too much on one person's plate. He's so important to our fortunes on the field that I'd hate to see his performances diminished because he's wearing too many hats."

The Dominion Post