Holding the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) responsible for Australian cricket's decline, former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad said the Aussie players got distracted by the big cash thrown at them by the Twenty20 league.
"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' on 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 added.
The Australians, who were almost an invincible lot till about a year back, have completely slumped to disaster, which is evident from their dismal show in the recently-concluded Ashes series.
Australia lost the Ashes series at home 1-3 and wilted to fifth place in the Test rankings.
Miandad feels the Aussie cricketers got lured by the money-spinning IPL and did not try to resist the temptation to earn the big bucks.
"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," said Miandad.
According to Miandad, players like Glen McGrath, Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist retired from Test cricket before their time so that they could earn the IPL millions, which was launched in 2008.
Miandad also warned that this twenty20 league might just end up killing the Test as well as One-Day cricket altogether.
"It certainly will. 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," said Miandad.