Allan Border has expressed fear that the Ashes series could be in jeopardy as the pay dispute in Australian cricket has reached a "ridiculous" point.
The former Australia captain offered to mediate negotiations as the stand-off between Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) rumbles on.
More than 200 players have been left unemployed after the Memorandum of Understanding between CA and the ACA expired on June 30 without a resolution.
Next week's Australia A tour of South Africa has now been cancelled and Border is worried that far worse will follow, with the historic series against England coming under threat.
"It seems ridiculous that it's got to this," Border, who earned 156 Test caps, told Fox Sports News.
"[Australia A tours] can be rescheduled, but tours of India and Ashes can't - and that's looming. Has there ever been a player boycott of a tour before? Not in my time.
"To boycott a tour - that's pretty serious.
"If both sides stick their head in the sand and are not prepared to talk to each other, what else is there to think [than the Ashes are in jeopardy]?
"As an outsider you've got to say 'does that mean touring India is going to be a problem?'.
"If that happens, the Indians are going to have some say about what's going on - it's costing us money.
"And then the Ashes. I can't imagine that not going ahead because of a player boycott.
"They've just got to get in a room and do it now."
The 61-year-old is so determined to see the issue resolved that he is willing to put himself in the middle of any talks.
He added: "If they need a mediator... whatever it takes to get both parties together and talking."