MELBOURNE: Worried about the ramifications of Kolkata Knight Riders' whopping USD 300,000 signing of rookie player Moises Henriques the New South Wales management is afraid that the Indian Premier League is sowing seeds of jealousy which could eventually split the squad.
Cricket NSW chief executive Dave Gilbert has warned the players not to allow the IPL split the team and felt Henriques' staggering IPL contract would have a massive impact on the cricket set-up in Australia.
"During pre-season I addressed the entire squad and told them what I thought would happen in terms of contracts in India," Gilbert said.
"I warned them not to let IPL jealousies get in the way of our team or our objectives. We don't want a situation where one player earns X and another earns Y and there are problems," he was quoted as saying by the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
With frontline Australian players missing much of the action in the first edition of the IPL, there has been a shift in the focus of the franchises which are now eyeing young Australian talents without the burden of national duty.
Two of Henriques' teammates, explosive batman David Warner and all-rounder Steven Smith, are also about to take the plunge and Gilbert said he was worried about its ramifications.
"At the moment we have not seen this thing fully play out. I don't think anyone yet really understands the ramifications of what we are seeing," he said.
"In Warner, you have a guy who has shown an incredible ability to hit the ball, and hit it out of the ground, and that's what people want to see. As an administrator in the game, you can't argue with that. The game must move forward and remain relevant to its viewers.
"Twenty20 rates the house down and fills stadiums all over the world. It's as simple as that. I am a traditionalist all the way, but there is no escaping the fact that we have an extraordinary product here in Twenty20 and people really love it. Moises might be just the beginning," he predicted.
The NSW official said it was all but natural for player like Warner to fall for the lure of IPL money.
"You can't blame him. He is a state-contracted player earning a modest income and for a 22-year-old, some of the figures that are being tossed around must be mind blowing. We have no issues at all with him (negotiating with IPL franchises)...We just don't want it to impact on our own domestic leagues," he said.
The NSW players in IPL include Brett Lee and Simon Katich (Kings XI Punjab), Nathan Bracken (Bangalore Royal Challengers) and Dominic Thornely (Mumbai Indians).
Kolkata Knight Riders have already roped in Henriques and are in negotiation with Warner and Smith. Besides, the Shah Rukh Khan-owned outfit has NSW coach Matthew Mott as its assistant coach