Top players, according to the Daily Telegraph, are poised to sign huge IPL contracts of up to 15 million dollars. Several of Australia's leading players have been told that the five million dollar salary cap for each IPL franchise will be abolished in future years.
That will create a free market where cashed-up Indian franchises will have no limit to their buying power. They will be able to splurge much more than the 1.65 million dollars paid to Indian ODI captain M S Dhoni and 1.47 million dollars paid to Australia's Andrew Symonds this year.
Dhoni was reported to have told one senior Australian player last week that he had been promised that the IPL's biggest names could expect extraordinary contracts of up to 14-15 million dollars after the salary cap is abolished.
It has been reported that several IPL franchises are in a financial black hole but two leading Australian players told The Daily Telegraph yesterday that their franchises were prepared to splurge many more millions.
Test opener Matthew Hayden confirmed he had heard the IPL salary cap would be wiped out in the future and said there seemed little doubt that player payments would go through the roof.
IPL chairman and cricket powerbroker Lalit Modi has also confirmed that the IPL salary cap could soon be a thing of the past.
"If we hadn't done that, I can tell you that our players would already be the highest-paid across any sport in the world," Modi said. "It will happen - if not today, then tomorrow. Because once the franchises have established themselves, it will be a free-for-all."
News of the possible scrapping of the salary cap - and the potential for IPL players to be paid up to $15 million - will go down like a lead balloon in Cricket Australia offices.
There were already fears the huge IPL player payments could fracture world cricket by forcing current internationals to consider their future and potentially trade a baggy green cap for a financial bonanza in the IPL.
Australian players could be forced to choose between country and dollars next year with the 2009 IPL set to clash with Australia's Test tour of South Africa and a one-day series in Pakistan.
If the IPL salary cap is quashed, as expected, leading international players could earn more for seven weeks IPL work than they could in a whole career toiling for Australia.