Cricket Australia has been urged to move fast after the shock revelation that Pat Cummins has been offered a monster figure to play in a city-based T20 competition in India.
While the Indian Premier League has become - and continues to be - the biggest T20 competition in the world for franchise-based cricket, it has now been revealed that cashed-up cities are looking to stage their own competitions outside of the IPL window.
It's understood the money they could throw at players would rival that of a Cricket Australia contract, and one of the key targets is Australian captain Pat Cummins, who has already been offered deals.
It comes as the IPL branches out around the world, with owners investing in new leagues in both South Africa and the United Arab Emirates to control teams.
The Mumbai Indians, who have teams in both leagues - MI Cape Town and MI Emirates - recently announced an overhaul of their coaching team to have a 'global director' of cricket.
The city-based leagues pose yet another threat to Cricket Australia, who have had to fight tooth and nail to keep players like David Warner in the Big Bash League this summer.
Cricket NSW board member and an advisor to Cummins Neil Maxwell has told News Corp that Cricket Australia must act now to avoid losing talent.
“I’m not saying Pat Cummins is going to accept a city-based competition or anything like that right now, because playing for Australia is far too important for him,” Maxwell told News Corp.
“But is it for Glenn Maxwell? Is it for Steve Smith? Is it for Dave Warner?
“For Pat Cummins to be approached by a city-based league and offered money that is proportionate to his Cricket Australia contract is just mind-boggling.
“The game needs to address that, proactively.
“I’m urging Cricket Australia and the ACA (the players’ association) to have a five-10 year plan of what we’re going to do in order to control our market and fit into a global competitive landscape.
“The really important part here is selling a vision to your players. To protect the game here, we have to provide a vision for this generation and the next.
“You cannot be thinking about the next 12 months anymore without thinking about the next 10 years.”
Cummins himself, speaking from India ahead of the first T20 between India and Australia on Wednesday night, said the opportunities are 'huge.'
"These opportunities are huge and they are popping up more and more often," Cummins said from India.
"I think it's just us as a sport in Australia to make sure that we've got a really strong vision of what we want Australian cricket to look like for the next five, ten years, now we've got through COVID.
"So now what's next, because these things are going to keep popping up, so get on the front foot, be proactive.
"We all want to keep Australian cricket as number one, so how can we manage all these different competing interests to try and keep it that way?
"Playing for your country, international cricket at the moment is still number one for just about everyone, especially here in Australia, but we can't just take that for granted.
"We've got to make sure that it remains the way and that's in scheduling and in payment and in vision of just what it means to be an Aussie cricketer.
"So that's all ahead of us, it's exciting and we'll work together to make sure that stays that way."