Former Australia captain Michael Clarke recently revealed that Australian players performed softer than usual when they played against India due to the players’ intent to protect their Indian Premier League (IPL) contracts, reported India Today.

“Everybody knows how powerful India are in regards to the financial part of the game, internationally or domestically with the IPL,” Clarke told Big Sports Breakfast.

“I feel that Australian cricket, and probably every other team over a little period, went the opposite and actually sucked up to India. They were too scared to sledge Kohli or the other Indian players because they had to play with them in April.

“Name a list of 10 players and they are bidding for these Australian players to get into their IPL team. The players were like: ‘I’m not going to sledge Kohli, I want him to pick me for Bangalore so I can make my $1 million US for my six weeks’.”

Clarke’s comments come just a few months after several key Australian players secured heavy deals with the Indian Premier League. Kolkata Knight Riders picked up fast-bowler Pat Cummins for Rs 15.5 crore, breaking the record for the costliest foreign buy at the auction. Glenn Maxwell raked in Rs 10.75 crore from Kings XI Punjab while Nathan Coulter-Nile was sold to Mumbai Indians for Rs 8 crore.