Melbourne:Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke fears brewing tension between Asian and Western blocs on issues like Champions Trophy and Twenty20 Champions League may cause split in the world cricket, resulting in the end of the sport.
Clarke said that top players from Australia, England and New Zealand are considering to boycott the Champions Trophy in Pakistan, doubting the security in the Asian nation, could bring a bad blood between the national boards.
The conflict between the BCCI and the ECB over the T20 Champions League was also a potential threat to the relationships between the two boards.
Besides, the Asian and Western divide was seen on the issue of revoking Zimbabwe's international status, which was supported by England, South Africa and Australia while the Asian block backed retention of its full membership.
"It's a concern for us, a concern for cricket and we can't afford that (split)," he told a Sydney-based radio station 2KY.
"Cricket in general can't afford it. I think it will be the end of cricket if that ever happens and I really hope that isn't the case," he added.
Former Australian captain Steve Waugh also felt that boards needed to strengthen relations and avoid a fallout.
"I think they have to work at that relationship because there's definitely the potential there for something like that (a split) to happen," Waugh said.
"The Champions Trophy is coming to a head and certain teams not wanting to go will cause some issues in itself," Waugh said.
"Whether some teams go or they don't, the differences of opinion might have wider repercussions," he added.
Cricket Australia General Manager of Public Affairs, Peter Young admitted that world cricket was dealing with some "frighteningly difficult" matters but denied the chances of any split.
"We're certainly not thinking about any split and our relationship with the subcontinent is important.
"At the moment there are a number of issues facing world cricket. There are the Twenty20 concepts in England and India, and the issues dealing with Pakistan and the Champions Trophy are frighteningly difficult.
"It's important for world cricket that Pakistan cricket is strong, and the only way they can stay strong is if the likes of Australia visit there regularly," he said.
"Pakistan have said they want us there, we've made it clear we want to come, but it has to be safe."