Alex Carey has joined Test teammate Steve Smith in taking up a rare chance for some Big Bash action and will turn out for the Adelaide Strikers in a must-win clash on Tuesday night.
An early end to the three-match series against Pakistan, with the third Test finishing in Sydney on Saturday on the fourth day of the final match, has opened the door for Carey to play Big Bash before the next series against the West Indies begins next Wednesday.
That match will be played in Adelaide removing any travel needs for Carey with the squad, which could be announced as soon as Tuesday, set to re-gather on Saturday.
That timeframe has hobbled the chances of the Melbourne Renegades, who don’t play again until Saturday, getting their hands on star spinner Nathan Lyon, but Carey has become available.
The Strikers have just two wins from seven games and must beat the Hobart Hurricanes to keep their finals hopes alive.
Smith too will play for the Sydney Sixers on Friday in a local-derby which could also yet feature David Warner for the Sydney Thunder, should he be able to travel from his brother’s wedding.
Cricket Australia’s high-performance department have had a big say in which players can play in the BBL having ruled Lyon out of the one match he could theoretically have played before the Pakistan series and then only this week releasing Scott Boland from the Test squad to play for the Melbourne Stars.
Boland hadn’t played a game for seven weeks, having been with the Test squad, before turning out on the MCG last Saturday.
Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja could also make cameo appearances for the Brisbane Heat, who play on Wednesday.
Test captain Pat Cummins and fast bowler Mitchell Starc signed marquee supplementary player deals with the Sydney Thunder and Sixers respectively under a plan to have the top players aligned to BBL clubs even though it’s unlikely they would play.