Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey may be on the move to a new BBL franchise.
Carey's performances for the Adelaide Strikers, particularly in their title-winning season in 2017-18, played a major part in his ascension to the national side where he has been vice-captain at various times. But it is unclear whether he will play for the Strikers after Australia's limited-overs series against India and Australia A's tour match against the Indians, for which he has also been selected.
ESPNcricinfo understands that as late as last week Carey had not signed with the Strikers, and when pressed on whether he would return to play for Adelaide he gave a cryptic response.
"I won't give anything away at the moment," Carey said, speaking from quarantine in Sydney, having just returned from the IPL where he played three games for the Delhi Capitals. "Watch this space. There should be an announcement in the coming days and I'm really excited to play in the Big Bash this year.
"After the three-day game I'll join the franchise that I'm going to. Watch this space."
Meanwhile, Carey says he has been given no guarantee that he will get his Australia T20 spot back, after being dropped for the the last T20I on the tour of England in August. With Carey sitting out, Matthew Wade took the gloves for the game in Southampton, and opened the batting while David Warner was rested.
Carey returned to the side for the ODI series and made a series-winning century in the final ODI at Old Trafford.
"I'm not sure what the line-up would be," Carey said. "Unfortunately, it wasn't a successful T20 series for us in England which always allows some doors to open in terms of selection. I don't have any indication at this stage. But I'm fully focused and excited about what's going to be a huge ODI series."
It was the second time Carey had been dropped from the T20 side in the last two years. He was also left out of the two-match series in India in 2019 when Peter Handscomb took the gloves. He returned to play in all six T20Is last summer but did not bat in any match due to the dominance of Australia's top order.
He then managed scores of 27, 14, and 7 on the tour of South Africa before scores of just 1 and 2 in the first two games in England forced the selectors' hand.
"My numbers in the past few T20s probably allowed the opening of the door for Wadey to come in and Davey (Warner) obviously didn't play that last T20 and Wadey got an opportunity opening the batting," Carey said.
"Unfortunately, I never like getting left out of any team but it's allowed me to go away and develop, if it is a lower order role or if it's back up the top of the order, doing everything I can to get back into that team is something I want to do. But again, since then I felt like I finished off that UK tour really strongly and took a lot out of the IPL working with Punter (Ricky Ponting). We'll see how this summer starts with both my form and selection."
Carey's family is also in limbo at the moment with his wife and young son forced to flee Adelaide to Sydney at short notice yesterday after a spike in Covid-19 cases in Adelaide changed travel protocols for people attempting to leave South Australia. He has not seen his family since leaving for England in August and won't be reunited with them until he has completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine that applies to international travellers, which concludes on November 26.
It is further evidence of the enormous complexity of the situation for Cricket Australia, the BCCI, the players, and staff. But Carey said the players had been checking in on each other in the various travel bubbles in the UK, the UAE, and now in Sydney.
"I think the relationships we have in this group is something that we all fall back on and joining this little bubble here, we get to see our mates and some familiar faces," Carey said.
"All the guys' spirits are really strong from all the indicators I've seen. The training effort and the physical shape that everyone is in is fantastic. It's obviously a little bit different than what we're used to, being away from home for this long, but CA has been fantastic and all the players are really close and checking in on one another."