Heath Mills, the CEO of the New Zealand Cricket Players Association, called the IPL as ‘archaic and deeply humiliating’ taking a dig at the process involved in the auction. Hemang Amin, IPL's COO, responded by saying the auction system might be dropped to make way for a draft system for new players.
The IPL auction has always been an extravagant affair ever since the first edition of the tournament in 2008. Over the years, the razmataz surrounding the event has reached new heights when it comes to the number of players up for auction and their ever-rising price tags. The recent edition of the auction, however, came under immense criticism as the New Zealand Cricket Players Association termed it as ‘archaic’ and ‘humiliating’ for the players due to the manner in which the auction is carried out. While professional leagues across the world have abolished the auction process to make way for a draft system as seen in the NFL in the USA, the IPL authorities chose to stick with the old process. Heath Mills, the CEO of the New Zealand Cricket Players Association termed the process "humiliating".
"I think the whole system is archaic and deeply humiliating for the players, who are paraded like cattle for all the world to see," Mills told New Zealand Herald in a recent interview.
The IPL is seen as an attractive career path, especially for T20 players all around the world, with players earning a substantial amount in the auctions, not to mention sponsorship deals and brand endorsements.
"There's 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," Mills said.
"Some players do exceptionally well out of it but the vast majority would like to see the system changed. They would like to negotiate with coaches and owners behind closed doors." Mills added.
Mills' comments were focused on the players' lack of control over their own destiny. Under the current auction system, they are commodities, made available to the highest bidder, and have no say in where they would end up playing.
"The players enter the auction not knowing where they 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. Players' associations around the world would like to see it change." Mills added in the NZ Herald.
However, Hemang Amin, IPL's chief operating officer, acknowledged the criticism that the governing body came under after the recent ‘mega auctions’. Amin was quick to respond, as said the auction process will pave the way for the draft system to integrate players into the teams in the near future.
"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 a feeder system to teams," Amin said at the end of the two-day IPL auction last weekend.
"Hence, IPL Governing Council is thinking