Melbourne: Cricket Australia has said that it will not ban any of their top players from participating in the Indian Premier League this year - despite a growing injury toll which has now claimed half the team.
Though former South African batting great Barry Richards believes Cricket Australia has its hands tied because it would face a massive player backlash and even possible retirements if it prevented its stars from going to the IPL, he says: "Administrators don''t want to get the players offside so I am sure a lot of them will be playing in the IPL again."
According to Fox Sports, Australia is in the midst of a major injury crisis with Brett Lee (ankle), Andrew Symonds (knee), Shane Watson (back) and Peter Siddle (foot) all sidelined.
With the Ashes the No.1 priority in 2009, Australia are likely to come under heavy pressure to prevent their star players from playing in the hit-and-giggle IPL.
Chances are Australia''s players will be available for the 20-over tournament, due to be staged after the three-Test tour of South Africa in February and March.