Ben Cutting has lit the fuse for a Big Bash grudge match as the Sydney Thunder quick takes aim at Brisbane Heat chiefs he believes were behind a mass exodus at the BBL club.
Cutting was a foundation player in Brisbane but walked away to join the Thunder, and he now has his sights set on a showdown with the Heat at Manuka Oval on Monday night.
Cutting had a year to run on his contract with the Heat before he severed ties with the club amid a drastic overhaul of its playing roster.
The 33-year-old has said conversations with coach Darren Lehmann and general manager Andrew McShea - who has since left the club - made it clear changes were on the way.
It opened the door for a fresh start in Sydney as Cutting signed a two-year deal with the Thunder - and the Heat foundation player wasn't alone in seeking greener pastures.
Australian-capped trio James Pattinson, Matt Renshaw, and Cutting joined Josh Lalor, Jack Prestwidge, Cameron Gannon in walking away from the Heat to join rival BBL teams.
Cutting has said he was promised a chance to open the batting last season which never came, but his list of grievances seemingly goes beyond that.
"I don't need to say too much, you just need to look at the guys who walked away from the Heat this year, there were five or six of us. There's definitely something in the water with that," Cutting said.
"I'm at peace with it now, but it certainly hurt at the time. I was given a year left to run a couple of weeks before the start of the Big Bash last year.
"Walking into my meeting at the end of the season and being told a few things that probably I didn't think were true, and they turned out they probably haven't been, it was disappointing.
"I probably stewed on it a bit, it was tough for me to let go to be honest. There were a lot of memories there, playing in front of your home crowd, all your mates, Christmas time at home.
"With COVID coming through they've cut a lot of people from management as well, [there is] still a couple left that were making the decisions and were probably some of the reasons five or six of us did walk away."
The Thunder are looking to bounce back from a loss in their tournament opener while Brisbane are hunting their first win of the season after both sides fell to the Melbourne Stars.
Cutting says he needs little extra motivation to get up for any game but there will be no shortage of fuel come Monday night.
"You always want to come up against your old team. I spent so much time there, so many memories, just to really drive it home," Cutting said.
"Most of those [players still at Brisbane] are great mates of mine and a lot of them are coming to my wedding, but I still want to stick it into them on the cricket field."