Sydney: Australian captain Ricky Ponting said here it would be "unfair" if interference from Cricket Australia prevented players from participating in the inaugural Twenty20 Indian Premier League.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has said Australian players risked losing their lucrative IPL contracts because Cricket Australia was seeking global protection for its own sponsors.
The six-week IPL is slated to start in April and clashes with Australia's scheduled tour of troubled Pakistan, which is still in doubt.
Indian cricket chief Lalit Modi said the tournament would go ahead with or without the Australians.
Ponting said the Australian Cricketers' Association, which represents the players, would take a dim view of any moves by Cricket Australia that might jeopardise their participation.
"There are already some globally-protected sponsors of Cricket Australia, there are a couple of them," he said.
"I don't think Cricket Australia would be able to make any of their other sponsors global sponsors.
"If they tried to do that I'm sure the players' association would have something to say about it.
"It would be a little bit unfair if that was the case."
Ponting pointed out that retiring wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist was the only current Australian international likely to be able to play if the tour of Pakistan went ahead.
Although there is an agreement that international players have to be retired for two years before playing IPL, Gilchrist is expected to be granted an exemption by CA.
Ponting said Cricket Australia should have no issue with the IPL contracts, comparing the competition to playing county cricket during the Australian off season.
"It's a domestic competition, as county cricket is," Ponting said.
"There's never been any worry about Cricket Australia releasing guys to go and play county cricket.
"That's the reason Cricket Australia backed it all in the first place, because it was a domestic tournament and it wouldn't be actually taking Australian players away from their domestic competitions or the Australian team."