After India's spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi labelled the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction a platform for "money laundering", the New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA) wants an end to the "humiliating" process where players are almost traded like cattle in front of the world.
It's no secret that cricketers now look up to the IPL as one of their chief sources of livelihood, but NZCPA chief Heath Mills called the auction process unprofessional in an interview to the New Zealand Herald.
“I think the whole system is archaic and deeply humiliating for the players, who are paraded like cattle for the world to see. There’re a lot of good things about the Indian Premier League and it’s been great for cricket but I’d like to see it mirror the rest of professional sport in the way they engage athletes. The auction system is wrong — it’s not professional, far from it,” Mills said talking to the New Zealand Herald.
“The players enter the auction not knowing where they’re are going, who their team-mates are going be, who’s managing them, who the owners are — no other sports league in the world engages players on that basis. We’ve seen some players play for five or six teams over the 10 years the league has been going.
“Coaches cannot build an affinity with players; they can’t build a long-term culture. The whole thing is very poor and players associations around the world would like to see it change,” he added.
Of the 24 New Zealand cricketers that went under the hammer during the January 27-28 auction in Bengaluru, only Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Colin Munro, Tim Southee and Mitchell Santner found suitors.
However, the auction process could be in for a change once it rings in again. A hint around that was dropped by the league's Chief Operating Officer (COO), Hemang Amin.
“Going forward, the thinking is that we will reduce, maybe not have mega auctions, but consider having a draft system for new players to come in, which acts as feeder system to teams,” Amin told ESPNCricinfo.
“Hence, the IPL Governing Council is thinking on the lines of how to cut down on the big auction and have continuity with the teams,” the COO added.
The eleventh edition of the IPL will run from April 7 to May 27 this year.