Sydney: Cricket Australia has warned Australia's leading players it will not let them play in the lucrative Indian Premier League's Twenty20 tournament in April and May, reports said Sunday.
Eleven top players -- including captain Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee and Adam Gilchrist -- have reportedly signed up for the tournament.
But CA chief executive James Sutherland warned he will not grant them consent to take part, saying they signed with the IPL without consulting Cricket Australia, the Sun-Herald newspaper said.
Other players involved are Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds.
The newspaper said Australia's top players could earn up to one million Australian dollars (885,000 US) for just a few weeks of work with the IPL.
This is on top of their Cricket Australia contracts, which are worth a minimum 140,000 dollars, it said.
The Sun-Herald said leading cricketers signed to long-term IPL contracts, worth 150,000 dollars a year, to play 14 Twenty20 games over a 40-day period in India.
The newspaper said that should the situation escalate with CA, repercussions for contracted players could include being blackballed from future Australian teams.
"A number of significant issues remain unresolved," Sutherland wrote in the letter published in the Sun-Herald.
"Until CA is satisfied ... CA will not consent to you or any other contracted player's participation."
He said the players were acting in direct conflict with their CA contracts.
"I am disappointed that you have chosen not to discuss or advise CA of your decision."
One unnamed player-manager warned it would be unwise for CA to draw a line in the sand.
"Cricket Australia doesn't want to put the players in a position where they might have to decide between playing for them or in India," the agent told the newspaper.
"If a player is money orientated, the IPL will win them over. They seem prepared to offer long-term deals and can pay more money. This could be a battle they (CA) won't win. It could divide the game."
Last month Ponting said money was a prime motivation for signing with the IPL.
"It's a very lucrative thing at the moment and a very attractive thing for four to six weeks out of your year," he said.
Complicating matters is Australia's tour of Pakistan next March-April, which conflicts with the IPL season.