A missed playing opportunity in India could prove a blessing in disguise for Ellyse Perry as she prepares for a hectic international schedule, a relaunched women's Big Bash and relocating her life to a new city and team.
The Australian all-rounder was in Canberra on Tuesday to launch a three-day bonanza of international content at Manuka Oval in January and February involving the world's best women's teams.
It was a brief break from training for a busy year of cricket, which includes the Ashes, a trip to the West Indies and the Twenty20 World Cup.
Perry has moved to Melbourne after more than a decade in the NSW cricket system, where she will be joined by husband Matt To'omua when he relaunches his Australian rugby career in the coming months.
Perry and Toomua have been living on opposite sides of the world since former ACT Brumbies playmaker To'omua moved his career to England three years ago.
But even living in the same city doesn't help, with the pair to be like ships passing in the night for the rest of the year because of their cricket and rugby commitments.
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So a breakdown in communication about Perry, Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healy playing in a T20 Challenge in India has barely been a blip on the radar for the Australian star.
"We've all just had six weeks off so everyone is fresh, but it's very much a full 12 months," Perry said.
"In a number of ways that's a great advertisement for how much the game has grown ... it really speaks volumes about how the game has evolved and the importance of the series.
"There are lots of opportunities for the players which is exciting and a wonderful evolution for the sport.
"In a lot of ways it's a fresh start for me and a different challenge [in Victoria], it's been really nice walking into training everyday and feeling like the new kid at school."
The Australian women's team will play against England at Manuka Oval on February 1 and against a T20 World Cup qualifier on February 27.
The matches are part of another packed Canberra schedule, with Sydney Thunder Big Bash games likely to be added to the eight international matches already locked in.
Perry hopes the Australian women's team can attract big crowds in Canberra as they aim to defend their T20 title. "For women's sport, crowd numbers are a real representation of the health of the sport," Perry said. "The rising crowd numbers we've had really legitimises what's going on.
CANBERRA'S CRICKET SUMMER
October 24: Prime Minister's XI v Sri Lanka. Date and time to be confirmed.
November 5: Australia (men) v Pakistan, 2.10pm.
January 31: India (women) v England, 2.10pm.
February 1: Australia (women) v England, 2.10pm.
February 2: Australia (women) v India, 2.10pm.
TWENTY20 women's World Cup
February 26: England v Qualifier and West Indies v Pakistan.
February 27: Australia v Qualifier
February 28: South Africa v Qualifier and England v Pakistan
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