India TV's sting alleging corruption in the IPL has again focused the spotlight on the issue of under-the-table payments to domestic Indian players. The television channel recorded at least three players allegedly seeking more lucrative IPL deals - including extra money that would have violated league regulations - with other franchises through an undercover reporter posing as a sports agent. In all, five players were named either asking for more money or offering to spot-fix for a certain sum of money.
While the BCCI moved swiftly to suspend all five players, the issue of under-hand payments and deals is one that has plagued the IPL since its inception.
Ironically, it was the BCCI's own rules - designed to prevent escalating salaries - that lie at the heart of the problem. The board created three categories for uncapped players and set limits on what the players in each category could be paid. Those players who made their first-class debut in the previous two years would be paid Rs 10 lakhs ($22,000) per season; those who did so between two and five years ago would get Rs 20 lakhs ($44,000) and those with more than five years' experience Rs 30 lakhs ($66,000).