Australia captain Ricky Ponting, currently under fire for his tactics in the lost series in India, said he could not imagine giving up international cricket to play the Indian Premier League but doubts if that would be the case with everyone.
"If the IPL keeps growing ... the next generation might opt for franchise over country. Everyone in the game should work towards ensuring that never happens," he wrote in his new book Captain's Diary 2008: A Season of Tests, Turmoil and Twenty20 to be released on Thursday.
Ponting said if the IPL is extended players will be under pressure to choose one form of the game over another.
"It will be tougher to retain the public's interest [in Tests] and eventually the golden goose will be no more," he said.
Ponting said the money on offer from the IPL will make it difficult for some players to continue representing their countries.
"We cannot afford to lose teams such as New Zealand and the West Indies from international cricket, but my fear is that this could happen if the game cannot strike a balance between Tests and ODIs and the IPL's riches," he said.
"Unless such a balance can be achieved, I could see some countries' cricket teams declining in the way Zimbabwe's sides have struggled over the past few years."
West Indies players also have an option of playing in the Twenty20 league launched by billionaire Allen Stanford, who recently put up US $ 20 million for a single Twenty20 match between England and his Stanford All Stars team.
"The best cricketers in the game want to keep representing their country, but if it's going to be costing them [a lot of] money then there are tough decisions ahead for players and also for administrators," he said.
Ponting has come in for a lot of flak after Australia went down 2-0 in the four-Test series in India. The world's number one team were beaten by a margin of two Tests or more for the first time since their 3-1 defeat against West Indies in 1988-89.