Miffed at the Indian Premier League's snub of Pakistan players, Javed Miandad says the cash-rich Twenty20 competition is turning out to be 'a big mafia'.
"The Indian Premier League is becoming a big mafia that wants to control world cricket; it is not only endangering the existence of the International Cricket Council, but also the rest of the cricketing nations.
"It is my message to all cricket boards around the world that the IPL is the biggest danger for their future; if it is not controlled timely it will engulf all boards.
"India is trying to control the world of cricket through the IPL and wants to become a super power; India is trying it and India is doing it," the Pakistan cricket icon told rediff.com in an exclusive interview, shortly after the players' auction for the third edition of the IPL in Mumbai on Tuesday.
His reasoning is that "a number of players have refused to play for their own countries because they can earn more money overnight than they could throughout their careers".
Saying the players are receiving money more than they are worth, he urged the ICC to form rules to curb the League's expansion.
"I can smell that everyone will have a problem in future. A time will come when there will be no player available to play for his country. Under such circumstances the ICC should form rules to control the IPL. At the moment the IPL is doing what it wants and no one is there to interfere. Time is not far when, due to the IPL, the ICC and world cricket boards will be finished."
Asked whether the IPL is a threat to Indian cricket itself, Miandad replied: "Not at all; the IPL will help Indians only, but it will weaken the rest of the teams. India will get the best players of the world and weaken other teams."
Giving an example, he said, "In the past India had better teams than the current Dhoni-led one, but, more often than not, they were defeated. The reason was that other teams were stronger than India. Due to the IPL, superstars like Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath retired from the Australian cricket team.
"They could easily play for another couple of years, but rushed to the IPL, as the amount was very attractive; so when the Indian team visited Australia, who were without senior players like Warne and McGrath, it was easy for the Indians to control the opposing team."
Miandad was unhappy about the power an individual player enjoys at the moment and suggested that every player should be controlled by his own cricket board.
"Nothing should be individually done; if every individual player is allowed to make a decision, without any interference of his board, the situation would turn bad for all other boards. All boards should handle their own guys and it is unjust that every player individually negotiates his case with the IPL.
"All the boards should discuss these issues with the IPL, otherwise their future seems dark to me. I'm surprised and astonished how people are investing and how they are going to earn money; it is commercial cricket. The ICC should watch these things and interfere before it gets too worse to be controlled," he said.
He was critical of the latest format of the game, saying, "Twenty20 cricket is no cricket, but money-cricket; everybody knows that it is commercial cricket; the main cricket is moving towards destruction."
"It's okay to play a match or two; that's not a problem. But if there are 40-50 matches, where will the rest of the cricket go? Clearly, it is damaging Test and One-day cricket, and the quality is going down. People have started forgetting about One-day and Test cricket. Neither the bowlers nor batsmen can learn anything here," he said.
Comparing the IPL with Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, he said, "When Kerry Packer came in, though he was doing it for a cause as his channel was ignored, it affected cricket all around the world; cricket game became mediocre. I see the same future for One-day and Test cricket due to the IPL."
So what does he have to say about Pakistan cricketers being snubbed by the IPL?
"It is another issue that Pakistani players were ignored and humiliated by the Indian Premier League. I am against the existence of the IPL; this is not an issue because Pakistani players were neglected or humiliated. That decision was biased and wrong.
"Cricket between India and Pakistan is better for relations between the two countries. Everyone says there is no politics in sport; so relations between the two countries should not come in the way of sports," he concluded.