The Brisbane Heat have scored a major win in their campaign to diminish the Prime Minister's XI with Michael Neser set to be named in the squad for Thursday night's Big Bash opener.
The fast bowler was a late scratching on Monday afternoon from the PM's XI clash against Pakistan with "soreness".
Cricket Australia said they would consult with the Heat to determine his return to play and it seems Neser has made a rapid recovery.
The quick is expected to be named in Brisbane's 13-man squad for Thursday's clash with the Melbourne Stars after bowling in the nets on Wednesday.
If he doesn't play in the team's opener, he is sure to feature in Saturday's game against Adelaide.
The move comes after the Heat repeatedly voiced their frustration at losing four players for their opening two matches due to Prime Minister's XI duties.
Cricket Australia publicly stood firm, and defended the tour match's status as a vital piece in the summer calendar and genuine Test selection trial.
Neser's absence, however, suggests CA crumbled in the face of criticism and gave in to Brisbane's complaints.
This is despite the Heat receiving special allowances for Test stars Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne to play on Thursday as a result of the PM's XI disruption.
Plenty of ACT fans and officials have been closely monitoring the bowler's status this week and there will certainly be some frustrated parties if he does line up on Thursday night.
The fast bowler may have escaped a trip to Canberra this week, but he won't be so lucky next week with the Heat to face the Sydney Thunder at Manuka Oval on Tuesday night. Don't be surprised if Neser receives a frosty reception from the ACT faithful.
Neser's withdrawal saw South Australian bowler Jordan Buckingham receive a late call up and the youngster made the most of his opportunity.
The 23-year-old finished with 3-63 off 17 overs, including the prized wicket of Babar Azam. Pakistan was 6-324 at stumps.
Buckingham is viewed as an elite talent for the future and has featured in the Australia A team in the past. He has now claimed 50 first-class wickets since making his debut in March 2022.
The bowler was pleased to capitalise on his chance in Canberra and enjoyed the step up from Sheffield Shield level.
"It certainly is a little bit of a step up, especially against world-class outfits like Pakistan," Buckingham said. "As a fast bowler, your margin for error is so small and it just keeps getting smaller.
"The ultimate goal, like all the guys here, is to play Test cricket, but right now I'll just take it one step at a time and look to cement my spot for SA and continue to bowl well this year."
Traditionalists were disappointed when they arrived at Manuka Oval on Wednesday morning, with the Jack Fingleton Scoreboard out of action.
Rather than using the time-honoured analogue scoreboard, officials opted to use the new-age digital video screen for both scoring and replays of all the big moments.
The Jack Fingleton Scoreboard has been in use for 123 years, originally at the MCG, before it was saved from the scrapheap and transported to Manuka Oval in 1981.
While disappointing for traditionalists, spare a thought for the scoreboard operators with temperatures set to soar into the mid-30s throughout the week.
Fans of the Jack Fingleton Scoreboard can rest easy, it's expected to be back in action for next week's Big Bash game between the Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat.
There was one minor hiccup for the new screen, however, with Pakistan wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed's name spelt incorrectly during the morning session. The error was corrected at lunchtime.
Speaking of gaffes, Fox Sports used an unfortunate abbreviation for Pakistan in their score graphic early in their coverage.
The issue was quickly changed, with the team referred to as "Pak" for the remainder of the day.
Mack back on deck
Katie Mack could be one of the hardest working members of Cricket ACT after she was spotted at Manuka Oval on Wednesday.
The Meteors skipper was handed a behind the scenes look at the operations side of gameday as she turns an eye towards life after cricket.
Mack would have been forgiven if she was not present on Wednesday, given she led the Adelaide Strikers to a second-straight Women's Big Bash title on Saturday night.
The opening batter will be back in action for the ACT next Tuesday when the Meteors resume their WNCL campaign following the WBBL break.
The side will host Queensland at Phillip on a bumper day of cricket for the region, ahead of the Thunder's Big Bash game at Manuka in the evening.