Australian cricket's playing & promotion imperatives are again colliding, this time over the matter of Check players taking part in the early rounds of the expanded Huge Bash League.
However an agreement is yet to be reached between CA management, promotion & training staff over the issue of how to make use of the time between the finish of the New Zealand Check series on December 13 in Hobart & the beginning of the India series on December 26 with the Boxing Day Check at the MCG.
This would permit maximum exposure for the new competition, & also mean the game's most reliable current assets, namely the likes of Michael Clarke, Shane Watson & Ricky Ponting, could be used liberally in promotion & publicity for the BBL.
Australia's Check & limited-overs players have always missed parts or all of the domestic Twenty20 competition because it's clashed with the concluding weeks of the Check summer & the bulk of the ODI programme.
"It's still being resolved. We are obviously keen for them to be obtainable to play if the schedule & their physical shape allows it," a CA spokesman told ESPNcricinfo. "They're the largest names & the most popular cricketers in the country so we'd obviously like them to be a part of as much as feasible."
But the alter to city-based teams & the paucity of genuine international talent obtainable for the first edition of the match due to scheduling conflicts has intensified the demand for Australian internationals among franchises.
Given that Australia will have done their third Check series in as lots of months, including the tours of Sri Lanka & South Africa that precedes the New Zealand series, recovery time for captain Clarke, his deputy Watson & the quick bowler Mitchell Johnson, among others, will be at a premium.
Another issue will be maximising the team's preparation for the task of facing up to India, currently the world's No.1 ranked Check team, in what has arguably become Australia's largest international rivalry outside of the Ashes. Where two times the Australians could afford to take the odd preparatory shortcut due to an undisputed rating at the top, now they have no choice but to plan diligently or face the consequences.
"The coaches are ensuring they have got time after the New Zealand series & before the India series beginning on Boxing Day," the spokesman said. "We need to make definite their workload is managed. Even if it is agreed that players are obtainable for definite matches, an individual assessment for each player will must be made at the time regarding injuries, workload & individual programmes.
"These guys are going to be sought after by the BBL teams irrespective of how lots of matches they can play, because they will help to sell the teams to the public."
Last summer the financial & cricketing interests of CA were muddled on over occasion. Michael Hussey & Doug Bollinger were handicapped when they were forced to stay behind at the T20 Champions League in South Africa with their IPL team Chennai Tremendous Kings than preparing for the Check series in India.
On the team's return home, a pre-determined promotion plan to announce the Ashes squad at a public event in Sydney's Circular Quay - ten days before the first Check - saw the selectors name an indecisive 17-man squad, causing what Simon Katich revealed to be a rumble of instability through the team before the first Check.