With the prospect of the T20 World Cup taking place this year becoming increasingly unlikely, there is the growing talk of the postponed IPL taking its slot in some capacity. If that is the case, it would present a significant clash with the early stages of Australia's domestic season. Here is a look at the players who would probably miss state duties to take up their IPL deals.
+ donates Cricket Australia contracted player
Alex Carey (South Australia/Delhi Capitals) +
Australia's limited-overs wicketkeeper has previously spoken about the challenge of building his red-ball game with ODI and T20 duty often keeping him out of the Sheffield Shield. Depending on the length of any IPL overlap with the Australian season, he could again miss a significant chunk of games, especially if the Shield season is also reduced due to Covid-19-related cuts. From South Australia's point of view, they would lose a senior figure at a time when they are looking to rebuild under a new head coach who is yet to be named.
Nathan Coulter-Nile (TBC/Mumbai Indians)
Less than a year after being in the World Cup squad, Coulter-Nile dropped off the CA contract list and that is likely to signal the end of his international career. It has also been reported that he is set to miss the Western Australia list but may sign up for another state. Else he could well see his future as being in T20 leagues.
Pat Cummins (New South Wales/Kolkata Knight Riders) +
One of four New South Wales players with IPL contracts who the state is used to not seeing due to their international commitments. Cummins, who set a record as the most expensive overseas player with a US$2.2 million deal, played one Shield match before the Test season last year and it could be something similar in 2020-21 if the IPL does find a home in October.
Aaron Finch (Victoria/Royal Challengers Bangalore) +
As ODI and T20I captain, Finch is another whose international duties can limit appearances for Victoria but although his brief Test career is behind him, he would no doubt be an asset to their top order when available.
Josh Hazlewood (New South Wales/Chennai Super Kings) +
Unlike Cummins, he is not part of Australia's T20I set-up so he would potentially be available a little more for New South Wales outside of Test duty but is now back in the ODI team. Last season he played two Shield matches before the series against Pakistan and New Zealand
Mitchell Marsh (Western Australia/Sunrisers Hyderabad) +
Marsh is eager to restate his credentials to be Australia's Test allrounder after missing the first half of last season having broken his hand punching the dressing room wall and then earning a recall to the limited-overs side, which meant he only made one Shield appearance. Having regained his CA contract last month, Marsh is one of four Western Australia players with an IPL deal.
Glenn Maxwell (Victoria/Kings XI Punjab) +
One of the gun T20 players in the world, Maxwell's chances of forcing his way back into Test contention are probably gone but he remains a player who can add plenty of value to Victoria's four-day side when available and would be a lock for the Marsh Cup.
Josh Philippe (Western Australia/Royal Challengers Bangalore)
One of the rising stars in Australian cricket, it is T20s where Philippe has really caught the attention and had a superb 2019-2020 Big Bash as he helped the Sydney Sixers to the title. He also played five Shield matches last season and was settling into a middle-order role in the second half of the campaign.
Kane Richardson (South Australia/Royal Challengers Bangalore) +
Not a regular in South Australia's Shield team - he has played taken just two first-class wickets in three games over the last two seasons - amid selection, injury and Australia limited-overs duty but he would be part of the Marsh Cup side.
Steven Smith (New South Wales/Rajasthan Royals) +
New South Wales enjoyed having Smith around for the early part of last season as he scored two hundreds in three matches to help put them on course for their eventual title. But they also have a batting order that knows how to manage without big names.
Billy Stanlake (Queensland/Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Stanlake's chances of being part of the T20 World Cup squad appeared to have drifted away after he dropped out of the side following the early-season matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan last year then endured a poor Big Bash for the Adelaide Strikers. The four Shield matches he played last year represent half his career total although eight wickets at 38.62 showed he remained a work in progress.
Marcus Stoinis (Western Australia/Delhi Captials)
Stoinis lost his CA contract last month despite a record-breaking Big Bash for the Melbourne Stars and faces a challenge to resurrect his international career. He has spoken of the desire to push for a Test slot - he was briefly part of the squad in the 2018-19 season - but a batting average of 30.61 and bowling return of 34.50 in eight matches last season did not hammer down the door. If he and Marsh are both at the IPL, there could be a lot on Cameron Green's plate in the allrounder role for Western Australia if he is allowed to bowl again.
Andrew Tye (Western Australia/Rajasthan Royals)
Very much a white-ball specialist having not played a first-class game since 2018, Tye had a truncated 2019-2020 season after suffering an elbow injury which meant he did not play after October and missed the entire BBL. Was part of Western Australia's Marsh Cup side before injury struck.
David Warner (New South Wales/Sunrisers Hyderabad) +
Like Smith, Warner had an impact for New South Wales during his brief Shield appearances last season with a crucial century at the Gabba to set up an opening victory. But once again, New South Wales may not see much of him.
Other Australians at the IPL
Chris Green (Kolkata Knight Riders), Chris Lynn (Mumbai Indians) and Shane Watson (Chennai Super Kings) were also due to be involved in the Shield tournament but they do not have state contracts. Green and Lynn have BBL deals - with Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat respectively - while Watson no longer plays in Australian domestic cricket.