Bangalore: No season of IPL is complete without controversy, and among the many that afflicted IPL 2012 was the television-channel sting alleging unauthorised payments to domestic Indian cricketers. It was a sting taken seriously enough by the Board of Control for Cricket in India to suspend five players and later, for Rajiv Shukla, the IPL chairman, to announce that every player would be part of future auction pools.
Putting all the players in one common pool seems a straightforward way to resolve the dilemma of unaccounted payments and artificially jacked-up prices for the few Indians who have played international cricket. However, it is worth stepping back to remember why uncapped Indian players weren't included in the auction in the first place. It was to prevent young players from being exposed to obscene amounts of money early on, and to ensure that playing for India retained its primacy in the aspirations of upcoming cricketers.
A Manish Pandey and an Ambati Rayudu might still have the desire to play for India, but if the future Pandeys and Rayudus are able to earn a lavish living from the game without the need to represent the country, will they still harbour the same desire? The rewards are likely to flow to many cricketers when they're still young and impressionable - a recipe for losing promising ones.