England selector Ashley Giles has blasted Northamptonshire and other counties for signing Kolpak players, branding them them 'lazy'.
Warwickshire's director of coaching, one of a four-man selection panel for the England team, is concerned by the shrinking opportunities for homegrown youngsters who are being marginalised in favour of more experienced imports, mainly from South Africa.
Rather than exploiting a legal loophole which allows players from countries with free-trade agreements with the European Union the unfettered right to play in domestic cricket, Giles believes counties should be more concerned with aiding their paymasters at the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Northants have four Kolpak players this season in Nicky Boje, Andrew Hall, Johan van der Wath and Lance Klusener, and Giles said: "We've got a serious problem and it will only get worse.
"I was aware of it before but it has become more obvious to me since taking this coaching job. The situation has reached ridiculous proportions.
"As an England selector, I sometimes think, 'Who am I supposed to be looking at here?' It's dangerous for our game and I think it has gone too far already. It has to be pulled back, but how we do that, I just don't know."
Giles added: "This is a responsibility that lies with the counties, who should produce players who can play Test cricket for England. They get handouts from the ECB and that's what they should be doing.
"Signing Kolpak players is like easy shopping, internet shopping.
"Instead of getting out there and doing the hard yards trying to find what you're looking for, you can just have it delivered to your door."
Northants, without their rested Kolpak players, drew their three-day game with New Zealand yesterday.