Christchurch: New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has advised Test captain Stephen Fleming not to join the breakaway Indian Cricket League (ICL) and look for better ways instead to drop curtains on his illustrious career.
Fleming has been offered to captain a side in the rebel ICL and the long-serving Kiwi skipper is reportedly mulling retirement from international cricket to join the cash-rich league in India.
Reacting to the development, NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan got in touch with the seasoned Kiwi in England and asked him not to take the ICL plunge. "I just said to him this is not in the best interest of New Zealand Cricket," Vaughan was quoted as saying by The Dominion Post.
“I believe a player of his stature and whose legacy is so magnificent deserves better ways. I've spoken more as a friend, as a friend who happens to be the chief executive of New Zealand Cricket," the NZC official said.
Apart from Fleming, the Kiwi trio of Chris Harris, Nathan Astle and Chris Cairns are on the ICL radar, while pace spearhead Shane Bond's name also did the rounds initially.
Vaughan also admitted that the Board would need a policy to stop an exodus of players. "The New Zealand Cricket board needs to come up with a concrete policy on how to approach this. Obviously it is an unsanctioned and unofficial tournament so that is fully clear, but we need to have a policy to work with."
Vaughan said the breakaway league would do no good to cricket in New Zealand but admitted everything would depend on what stance the International Cricket Council takes. "You would have to say it is in the best interests of New Zealand to be a strong member of the ICC family because out of that relationship we derive significant amounts of our income.
"So to disassociate ourselves from the ICC would not be a sensible move," he added.
Earlier, New Zealand Cricket Players' Association (NZPA) urged the ICC to recognise the league, fearing not sanctioning the rebel series could lead to an exodus of top Kiwi players. NZCPA chief Heath Mills said they are more at risk from the rebel series as the players might find the million-dollar offer too lucrative to reject.
He said while Australia, England and South Africa had the money to stop their players from joining ICL, New Zealand Cricket would not be able to retain its top players.