The word was Jesse Ryder was going to be a guest player for his former Napier Technical Old Boys club in the annual Twenty20 tournament starting today.
Thanks to Wellington Cricket, who prevented any of their first-class players committing to the tourney, that won't happen from 4pm as Tech play Taradale Crocket Club at Nelson Park, Napier.
But even better was the news from Hawke's Bay Cricket high-performance development manager Dale Smidt that Black Cap allrounder Doug Bracewell was itching to run on to the park for his Taradale team in the tourney that will culminate with the final on Sunday.
"I won't have a bowl but I'll have a bat and a bit of a run around to test my legs out," Bracewell said last night, not long after returning from the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka after the Black Caps failed to make the play-offs following a win-less Super 8 stage.
The Devon Hotel Central Districts Stag preferred to err on the side of caution after a hectic schedule in sultry Sri Lanka although he spent more time in the training nets than on the field.
"I would have liked to have played more but I got a shot. I got a couple of wickets but we struggled to take down the total."
He claimed 3-31 off his four overs in the super-over loss to the Windies in the last game on Tuesday and was run out in the last ball of normal play for one run with his skipper and fellow CD player Ross Taylor.
"It's nice to come back home for a couple of weeks ," the 21-year-old said, adding he would be back into training mode from Monday with his father and ex-international Brendon Bracewell at their Eskview home.
The younger Bracewell said the sauna-like heat added to the demands of playing on a subcontinent wicket that suited spinners.
He put down the agony of super-over losses to the hosts and the Windies to a lesson learned in their quest to be better.
"The second game shouldn't have come down to a super over."
So who will be the T20 world champions come Sunday?
"My money's on Sri Lanka because they are looking pretty good," he replied, adding Australia had revealed a soft underbelly the first time they were put under pressure by Pakistan in their embarrassing defeat and would fold again.
"We have another tour to play there now," he said of the New Zealand team's series against Sri Lanka in one T20, five one-dayers and two tests from October 30.
Fellow Stag wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk and legspinner Tarun Nethula, who is playing for NZ A against their India counterparts in Christchurch, should be in coach Mike Hesson's mix.
Smidt said defending Bay T20 champions Karori Cricket Club, of Wellington, wouldn't play today but would play an extra game early tomorrow because of player work commitments.
They have Harry Wright, son of former Black Caps and India coach John Wright.
The Daniel Drepaul-captained Central Hawke's Bay, with Van Wyk and Wanganui's CD contracted player, Ben Smith, will host the other Wellington side, Onslow, from 4pm at Ongaonga Park today after a spot of lunch for the sightseeing visitors.
Onslow have ex-international Gavin Larsen as their manager and his son, Corey, as a player, as well as the ex-CD age-group pair of Josh Poole (Marlborough) and Declan McKeefly (Wanganui) and Glyn Howell, the younger brother of ex-Cap Llorne Howell, of Napier.
Havelock North play Cornwall today with Todd Astill returning as coach/player from Napier Old Boys' Marist.
Marlborough's Ben Wheeler will make his debut for Havelock, who will also have former Bangladesh international Rokon Al-Shariar and ex-Manawatu representative wicketkeeper Bryce Grant.
The Jacob Smith-skippered Cornwall will have CD rep Carl Cachopa but veteran Brad Patton has emigrated to Melbourne.
NOBM have CD rep Roald Badenhorst as a guest player and ex-Bay Hawk Cup winner Nick Phelps returning.
Dale, with CD skipper Kieran Noema-Barnett, are favourites to win, with Manawatu's Bevan Small and fellow CD squad member Ejaz Patel adding to the arsenal.