Perth: Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has played down workload issues regarding the IPL, and said that it will not affect the team"s preparations for the Ashes this year.
Heading into his fifth month of international cricket without a break, Ponting denied there was too much cricket, but questioned the tightly packed scheduling of Test series with New Zealand and South Africa this summer.
He dismissed suggestions the IPL would have any significant impact on Australia players, claiming they would only be able to play the last two weeks of the six-week tournament in May.
Following the South Africa Test and one-day tour, which is scheduled to end in mid-April, Australia are likely to have a five-match one-day series against Pakistan at a neutral venue which would run well into May.
Ponting wondered how many players would withdraw from the IPL after more than eight months of constant cricket and with the World Twenty20 kicking off a four-month tour of England in June that will also include five Tests and seven one-day matches.
"It''s a fair way away," Ponting said of the IPL.
"We''re all going to have to make a judgment call closer to the time the IPL comes around.
"We might only be able to play the last two weeks and a lot of the franchises we play for might have no chance of making the finals. There''s all those sorts of things that need to be taken into consideration and worked out between the player and the franchises I guess."
Vice-captain Clarke was still undecided on Thursday night about whether to enter the IPL auction next Friday as his management attempted to work through some outstanding contractual problems.
Clarke, who did not participate last year because of personal issues, has a reserve price of USD one million for the auction should he enter. Australia''s most expensive signing remains Andrew Symonds at USD 1.47 million.
Meanwhile, reports from India indicate England players will be competing with the vice-captain for the franchises'' money.
Kevin Pietersen has a USD 1.3 million reserve price and Andrew Flintoff has a USD 900,000 reserve price.
The franchises have a budget of USD two million each to spend in the auction and at least two have shown interest in Clarke this summer.