Perth: Australia captain Ricky Ponting admitted Thursday he was concerned the controversial Twenty20 Indian Premier League could pose a threat to world cricket by luring international players.
Just 24 hours after his vice-captain Adam Gilchrist, likely to be one of the few Australians to play in the inaugural tournament in April-May, dismissed any concerns over the impact of the IPL, Ponting said some senior international players were sure to be attracted by the financial rewards.
"I think there are some dangers there to tell you the truth," Ponting said.
"If a guy is approaching the end of his international career anyway, and being able to play 44 days and stay in one form of the game I'm sure is very attractive.
"Particularly if they have families and they are getting a bit sick and tired of the travel you do with international cricket, I am sure that is appealing to some," he said.
With 10 Pakistan players signing with the rival Indian Cricket League this week, Ponting admitted that while he believed Australian players would always want to represent their country first and foremost, that might not always be the case in other regions.
"We can't control what the Pakistanis are doing or other countries are doing, but in Australia you would like to think that the fabric is still there for young Australian players, and older players, to continue to play as many games as you can for your country," he said.
Ponting said he would like to see a window in the scheduling to allow international players to play in the IPL.
"There are some programming issues the ICC and the boards are going to have to look at, maybe carving out a window each year where this tournament can sit in (alone)," he said.
"Unless some time is given up then we might start losing the 33, 34-year-old players from international cricket.
"Otherwise there will be guys making the decision of whether they continue in both forms of the game or have a bigger break every year and play 44 days of Twenty20 cricket and make even more money than they are internationally."
Ponting dismissed suggestions the 36-year-old Gilchrist was looking at the IPL in making his retirement decision, certain it had more to do with the wicketkeeper-batsman's patchy recent form.
The participation of Australian players in the inaugural tournament remains up in the air, with Cricket Australia yet to reach agreement on commercial issues with the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the player bidding by franchises scheduled for next Wednesday.
Australia are also scheduled to play in Pakistan in April, but that tour remains in doubt due to safety concerns and Ponting admitted it might not go ahead.
"I think CA is sending a party over in a week's time to check things out so we will know more about the state of Pakistan then," he said.
"It is only three or four weeks until we head off, so there are going to be some big decisions made in the next few weeks.
"I don't think it is completely positive at the moment."