Australia's top stars could be blocked from taking part in next year's Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament.
Gilchrist and Ponting have signed up for the Twenty20 League
A clutch of top players, including captain Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist, have signed up for the lucrative competition next spring.
But Cricket Australia (CA) is refusing to give permission unless it is involved in contract discussions.
CA spokesman Peter Young, said: "It would be a breach of contract to play without our permission."
The players could earn up to Aus$1m (£430,000) each for competing in the month-long series, in excess of their normal annual earnings.
The Indian Premier League is being organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India and has been sanctioned by the International Cricket Council.
It was set up after the "rebel" India Cricket League - which launched on Friday - came into being. ICL players are automatically banned from ICC-sanctioned cricket.
Now, even the IPL is being eyed cautiously.
CA boss James Sutherland said: "A number of significant issues remain unresolved, particularly regarding Australian players' participation and the terms of participation."
An anonymous players' agent told the Sun-Herald newspaper CA's threats were a "declaration of war".
He added: "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 IPL will win them over as they can pay more money. This could be a battle they (CA) won't win. It could divide the game."