KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad has blamed the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Australia's stunning downfall saying the money-spinning Twenty20 league has left their top cricketers completely distracted.
Miandad's advice to international stars, especially from Australia, is to think twice before falling in the 'cash trap' again.
The Aussies, who till last year seemed to be almost invincible, have come crashing down following their woeful Ashes campaign. Australia lost the Ashes contest at home 1-3 and slumped to fifth place in the Test rankings.
"I believe Australia's slump has a lot to do with their players' association with the IPL," Miandad was quoted as saying by The News in an interview Tuesday.
"Most of their top players got a bit too distracted because of the big cash thrown at them by the IPL. They even started ignoring national duty which has really caused their downfall," he said.
Miandad is of the view that top players like Glen McGrath, Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist retired from Test cricket before their time so that they could earn the IPL millions.
"All of that has really hurt the Australians, who I am sure would have not slumped like this if their players had resisted the temptation to earn big bucks that was used to lure them by the IPL."
Launched in 2008, IPL revolutionised cricket as it splashed big cash for a high-octane blend of international star players and celebrity glamour.
Though cricketers have mostly welcomed it worldwide, critics continue to warn that the league, which has been hit by allegations of corruption, could affect the health of the more traditional formats of the game - Tests and One-day Internationals.
"It certainly will," said Miandad.
"There is too much disparity when it comes to pays and if proper steps are not taken then top players will continue to put this league above international cricket."