Ellys's choice ... give up cricket or stop playing top-grade football. Photo: Getty Images
Could this be the moment that women's sport crosses the threshold from a largely amateur pursuit into professional reality?
Dual international phenomenon Ellyse Perry has so far juggled the demands of representing Australia in both football and cricket - but judgment day may be looming.
Perry's W-League side, Canberra United, yesterday delivered an ultimatum: if Perry wants to stay with the reigning champions, cricket needs to be pushed aside.
Ellyse Perry batting in a Test match against England last year. Photo: Getty Images
''Ellyse needs to choose whether she wants to be a full-time Canberra United player and commit to training every day like everyone else does,'' Canberra United chief executive Heather Reid.
''Or if she still wants to try and mix her cricket commitment with football, then perhaps she will need to find another club.'' That decision appears to have been made, with Perry saying last night that she's been left with little option but to leave.
''I've been very fortunate to be involved with Canberra United for the last three W-League seasons but there's some changes at the club and the coach, Jitka Klimkova, has some different ideas about how the team needs to be run,'' she said.
Ellyse Perry representing Canberra United at the A-League awards in 2011. Photo: Getty Images
''I fully respect her philosophy, it's certainly her prerogative to change, but mixing my football and cricket commitments doesn't work so well in her framework. It seems I'll have to start looking for a new club.''
Football Federation Australia officials were yesterday privately aghast at Klimkova's ultimatum, which seemed to force Perry into making a choice both sports have been happy to avoid given the respective positive publicity she generates for them.
The alternative is that the 21-year old from Sydney's North Shore plays with Sydney FC or the new western Sydney team, though their respective training demands for next season are yet to be established.
''It's still a long time until the W-League season begins [in November] so I'll weigh it up between now and then,'' Perry said.
''I still want to play both and hopefully I can play for a club that allows me to do that.''
Klimkova's arrival from the Czech Republic has raised Canberra to compete with the league's pre-eminent sides, Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC, but she wants to raise the bar again for the coming season to a daily commitment - even though the players are only paid part-time wages.
Former Socceroo Francis Awaritefe described the club's decision as ''stunningly stupid''.
However, Klimkova's push has drawn the support of outspoken striker Lisa De Vanna, a Matildas teammate of Perry's.
''About time someone lifted the professional standards of women's football. Having [a] name should [not] get you in a team,'' she said on Twitter.
''Players and teams deserve better. Hopefully these standards carry on to the national team and performance becomes all that matters!''
Cricketing authorities are throwing no such obstacles in her path.
''Ellyse is a fantastic role model and we will continue to support her with her ambitions to represent both cricket and football at the highest level possible,'' a Cricket Australia spokesman said.