Kumar Sangakkara is in advanced talks with Surrey about a county stint in 2015, but will not make a firm commitment until he decides on his Test future.
His original retirement plans, which entailed quitting all formats after the forthcoming World Cup, would have left him wide open for a county season next year. However, as he is now considering playing Test series in June and August, both he and the county must grapple with the details of the clash.
Sangakkara stint with Surrey effectively depends on whether he plays in both Sri Lanka's proposed series in the middle of next year. Surrey are happy for him to play either the two Tests against Pakistan in June, or in the three-Test series against India pencilled in for August, but less willing to sign him in such a key role if he is unavailable for the bulk of the county season.
Sangakkara had seen two county seasons as the ideal way to wind down his career, but in recent weeks has been made keenly aware of his national duty by Sri Lanka's selectors and Angelo Mathews, among others.
Opposition to Sangakkara's retirement has been founded on the argument that the team would be substantially better served if Sangakkara remained in the Test side until it was more settled. Sri Lanka have yet to play a Test since Mahela Jayawardene's retirement and, if Sangakkara had also quit following the forthcoming New Zealand Tests as he had planned, both of the side's leading batsmen would have become unavailable within the space of two series.
The batsman is also wary of delaying his county contract until 2016, as he would then be 38 when he embarks on a fresh cricketing challenge and, as such, less sure of his form. There is also the appeal of working with former Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford, at Surrey.
Sangakkara has had successful brushes with county cricket before. He played two matches for Durham ahead of Sri Lanka's tour of England this year, and averaged 57.66, and had averaged 49.60 for Warwickshire across seven matches in 2007.