Port Elizabeth (S. Africa), Sept.18 : This summer''s Big Bash in Australia will be largely devoid of high-profile international imports, including Kieron Pollard and Chris Gayle - because of other countries'' conflicting tours and tournaments.
South Africa and India are involved in a Test and limited-overs series for the entire Australian Twenty20 tournament, as are New Zealand and Pakistan, while many English players will be occupied with the Ashes and the one-day series against Australia that follows the Test series.
Sri Lanka, one of the few nations not playing any matches during January when the Twenty20 tournament will be held, has barred any of its contracted players taking up deals with Australian states in the hope of ensuring their fitness for February''s 50-over World Cup.
The ability of West Indians Gayle and Kemar Roach (Western Australia) and Pollard (South Australia) to fully honour their Australia contracts is unlikely because of the West Indies'' decision to shift its domestic Twenty20 tournament from July to January.
The exact dates of the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament are yet to be finalised, although it will be longer than 10 days, as it was for this year''s tournament.
The only confirmed Sri Lankan signing for the Big Bash was Tillakaratne Dilshan, with NSW, although Kumar Sangakkara and paceman Lasith Malinga have also been strongly pursued by Australian states in the past.
Nevertheless, Sri Lanka spokesman Brian Thomas confirmed none of its contracted players would be permitted to play in the Big Bash, despite the team''s series against the West Indies concluding just before the start of the Twenty20 tournament.
West Indies Cricket Board spokesman Imran Khan said its players would not be prevented from playing in a small portion of the Big Bash if it came before the start of the Caribbean Twenty20, ''''provided that their territorial teams do not require them to be in participate in any preparatory camps''''.