The New Zealand Cricket Players Association wants an end to the "degrading" Indian Premier League auction.

NZCPA chief executive Heath Mills said the auction, held over the weekend, was an unprofessional way to play with athletes' livelihoods.

Mills endorsed a tweet from former Wellington Cricket chief executive Peter Clinton, who wrote: "The IPL Auction is such an undignified, cruel and unnecessary employment practice. Ridiculous that it exists today, belongs in the medieval ages."

"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 the Herald.
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"There's 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."

Apart from the public disappointment of players being are passed in, those who are picked up are treated badly by modern standards, Mills said.

Heath Mills wants to see the end of the IPL auction process. Photo / Photosport.
Heath Mills wants to see the end of the IPL auction process. Photo / Photosport.

"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 enagages 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."

Mills acknowledged it had been great for the players who attract huge salaries.

"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."

On top of that Mills said many players are frustrated by a system that is almost possible to understand.

"No-one in the cricket world that I've spoken to can understand how players are picked, how their price is determined ... you could spend years trying to work out how the Indian Premier League auction works and not fully understand it.


While cricket players associations around the world are opposed to the auction, Mills cannot see it changing.

"It's almost got to the point where there's more interest in the auction than the games and I think they'll keep doing it even though the general player view it is that there's better ways to do it.

Mills said he'd spoken to some of the 24 New Zealand players involved in the auction and all were conscious not to go into the auction with any expectations but even so some were "frustrated" with the outcome because some decisions were hard to explain.

Of the 24 Kiwis in the auction, seven were "sold" — Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Colin Munro, Tim Southee and Mitchell Santner.

The most notable exceptions were Martin Guptill and Ish Sodhi, who at the time was the No1 T20 bowler in the world.

The eight-team league begins on April 4.