WELLINGTON: For the first time, cricket administrators from a country openly criticised the process of Indian Premier League auction. Post conclusion of IPL 2018 auction, New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA) labelled it as “undignified and cruel”. A total of seven New Zealand cricketers were picked in the auction – Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Colin Munro, Brendon McCullum, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee and Kane Williamson.
“I think the whole system is archaic and deeply humiliating for the players, who are paraded like cattle for all the world to see,” Heath Mills, chief executive of the New Zealand Cricket Players Association was quoted as saying by the New Zealand Herald.
Followed by Mills, former chief executive of Wellington Cricket Peter Clinton backed Mills’ point and tweeted.
The #IPLAuction is such an undignified, cruel & unnecessary employment practice. Ridiculous that it exists today, belongs in the medieval ages.
— Peter Clinton (@PeterClinton5) January 29, 2018
“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.”
Going by Mills, the auction process puts players in the helpless position with no control over their choice of the franchise. “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,” he said.
However, not to forget that players are always in touch with franchises before the auction. Gautam Gambhir going to Delhi Daredevils after serving Kolkata Knight Riders is a fine example. On the other hand, IPL governing council might be discussing over an alternate system to auction further.