The New Zealand Cricket Players Association has hit out at the Indian Premier League Player Auction process, describing it as "undignified and cruel". This is the first time cricket administrators from a country have openly criticised the auction. "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.
Mills backed the views of Peter Clinton, a former chief executive of Wellington Cricket, who tweeted: "The IPL Auction is such an undignified, cruel and unnecessary employment practice. Ridiculous that it exists today, belongs in the medieval ages."
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
Mills stated that there was a need to change the system in order for it facilitate greater engagement with players.
"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 if but the vast majority would like to see the system changed. They would like to negotiate with coaches and owners behind closed doors."
According to Mills, the auction system renders the players helpless, with no control over their destinies.
"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.
The IPL Governing Council is likely to discuss the feasibility of an alternate model to the auction going forward.
"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. Hence, IPL Governing Council is thinking on the lines of how to cut down on the big auction and have the continuity with teams," Hemang Amin, the IPL's chief operating officer, said at the end of the latest auction in Bengaluru last weekend.
Rising pace bowler Jaydev Unadkat joined Ben Stokes in the Rajasthan Royals for $1.8 million but a host of foreign stars failed to get deals in the IPL auction.
The Rajasthan Royals made Unadkat the second most expensive player in the auction behind England's Stokes who they bought for $1.96 million on the opening day.
Stokes -- still facing an assault criminal case in England -- and Unadkat will join Australian captain Steve Smith at the Royals as they return to the lucrative T20 league after a two-year illegal gambling ban.
Indian batsmen Manish Pandey and Lokesh Rahul both pocketed $1.7 million after being sold to Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab respectively on Saturday.
580 players were up for auction ahead of the season which runs from April 7 to May 27. The IPL has been boosted by a new five year $2.5-billion media deal.
(With inputs from PTI)