Regular Adelaide Strikers captain Travis Head is set to make a sensational return from national duties to lead the side in their knockout KFC Big Bash semi-final clash with Melbourne Renegades tomorrow night at Adelaide Oval.
Citing "exceptional circumstances", Cricket Australia has permitted Head to be released from Australia's Twenty20 squad ahead of the tri-series opener 24 hours later in Sydney. He will then rejoin the squad ahead of Saturday's match.
It is understood the left-hander is the only player in this position due to the likelihood that he will not be part of Australia's XI against New Zealand at the SCG.
Head, who trained with the national side in Sydney on Wednesday after Australia’s 14-player squad assembled, comes back into the Strikers squad at Kelvin Smith’s expense.
The inclusion of Head in Adelaide's side could cause consternation within the Renegades ranks, given they will be without their star batsman and captain Aaron Finch, as well as paceman Kane Richardson, who has collected 12 wickets through the tournament.
Similarly, both Perth Scorchers (Ashton Agar and Andrew Tye) and Hobart Hurricanes (D'Arcy Short) have been shorn of some of their most explosive talent ahead of the BBL finals, while the Strikers themselves will remain without fellow national reps Billy Stanlake and Alex Carey.
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland yesterday discussed the difficulty of scheduling in general, with a particular reference to the Big Bash finals and the T20 Internationals clashing at this time of year, and the repercussions that presents regarding player availability.
"(The BBL and domestic cricket is) a poor cousin in some ways you might say but at the same time we have hopes we can build that by perhaps giving it some clear air in February," Sutherland said on Melbourne radio station SEN.
"That's something we're exploring."
Scorchers coach Justin Langer also suggested the situation was leaving supporters confused.
"I think (the schedule) is one of the biggest challenges for the Big Bash and Cricket Australia (CA) going forward," Langer said.
"As soon as the public gets confused, I think you've got problems."