London: Tensions are growing between players and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) over the compensation fee that players like Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff will have to pay to their counties for taking part in the Indian Premier League.
Pietersen and other England players taking part in the IPL auction have been asked to pay 10 per cent of their auction price to the counties, the Telegraph reports.
Opposition to the arrangement has hardened over the last fortnight with Sean Morris, CEO of the Professional Cricketers" Association (PCA), warning of a wedge being driven between the players and the ECB.
"When you look at the world''s top cricketers, around 60 per cent already say that they are more loyal to their IPL franchise than they are to their own clubs and national boards," Morris said.
"Why is England the only country in the world whose players have to pay this sort of money?
"The thing that really concerns the players is what happens to that money. Since it is the rest of the Lancashire team who are missing out because Flintoff is not there, it would make sense if those players were the ones who benefited. But the fact is that this 10 per cent will just disappear into another county black hole," Morris claimed.
This is not a good time for relations between England's top players and the England and Wales Cricket Board to become strained. Any distractions surrounding the IPL auction – which will be held in Goa on Friday – could hinder Andrew Strauss''s chances of getting off to a winning start in his latest spell as captain.