Horowhenua-Kāpiti could have dibs on a first-class pace bowler this season.
Matthew Bacon might be on the fringe of selection for Otago, but has declared his immediate availability for Horowhenua-Kāpiti Bears whenever he doesn't make the cut.
Any disappointment on missing out for Otago would be offset by the fact he would be on a plane back home to Levin and back in a red cap.
It's a unique scenario that just might see him in the Bears team to face Whanganui at Donnelly Park this weekend.
"It's a win-win," he said.
Horowhenua-Kapiti had always been home for Bacon. He grew up in Levin and played junior representative cricket, debuting for HK Bears as a 17-year-old in the Plunket Shield and playing the next five seasons of representative cricket.
He made Central Districts age-grade teams, even appearing for CD A, before moving to and gaining selection for Wellington, before the move south to Otago in 2017.
The 28-year-old was named Otago Volts Player of the Year one year and had taken a swag of wickets in his four seasons in the deep south.
Inbetween times Bacon had returned to Levin periodically to give coaching clinics to young players at the Basil Netten Pavilion at Donnelly Park, at the same time visiting his parents Robin and Russell, who still live locally.
If he did miss out on selection the Otago Volts team, one alternative was to play for Otago club side Albion Eagles. But that was trumped by the chance to play representative cricket for his home province.
Bacon said he was well aware he would be taking a spot that might have gone to another player, but was hoping his intentions would be fully understood.
Bears manager Gary O'Brien said they couldn't pass up the chance to have Bacon play whenever he was available, as they entertain the prospect of a Hawke Cup challenge early next year.
O'Brien said the rest of the squad were fully aware of the situation and were supportive of the team's goals and of putting the team first.
And a dangling carrot was the possibility of that Hawke Cup challenge, should results go their way.
It was an opportunity that comes around once in a blue moon. The last time HK had a Hawke Cup challenge was in the 1989/90 season.
Bacon said he knew enough of the current squad and coach Chad Law to believe a Hawke Cup goal was possible and not just a pie-in-the-sky, whether he was in the team or not.
"There's a good sniff," he said.
"It's pretty exciting. They are doing really good things there providing pathways for talented young players to make it through to professional cricket."
Bacon wouldn't be found wanting on the score of fitness. He just completed a fundraising marathon run (42km) on his own behalf and raised $1733 for the Mental Health Foundation New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Bears coach Law had named a solid-looking squad for the first-up assignment, with Andrew Simpson named as captain. There were a few players yet to be omitted.
Horowhenua-Kāpiti Squad: Ajay Kashyap, Andrew Simpson, Carter Andrew, Keegan MacLauchlan, Daemon Kennett, Xijit Sakalkar, Jamie Pinfold, Dylan Reader, Jaedyn Keats, Dion Sanson, Bailey Te Tomo, Thomas Harris, Fraser Bartholomew, Matthew Bacon.