Colin Munro's international future remains murky, with the star batsman set to miss out on the Black Caps' squad for the upcoming Twenty20 series against Australia.
The 33-year-old chose to play in the Australian Big Bash League for the Perth Scorchers this summer, instead of Auckland in the local Super Smash, and it paid dividends.
Batting at three for much of the tournament, the left-hander was consistent, making three consecutive half-centuries and four in five innings as the Scorchers overcame a horror start to rocket into title contention, before finishing runners-up to the Sydney Sixers.
Munro scored 443 runs from 15 innings at an average of 31.7 and strike rate of 128, but despite his impressive form, it's unlikely to result in a return to the Black Caps' Twenty20 side. Munro averages 31.3 at a whopping 156 strike rate for the Black Caps in the shortest form, but hasn't represented his country for over a year.
Munro told the Herald he's holidaying with his family until next week, which means in addition to the 14 days managed isolation upon his return to New Zealand, he wouldn't be available for at least the first three games of the five-match Australian series which begins on February 22.
New Zealand Cricket maintains Munro is available but also acknowledge the logistical challenge that would come with his selection.
Australian fast bowler Jhye Richardson, who played with Munro at the Scorchers, believes that if Munro is available, he should be picked.
"Age is just a number, especially when it comes to cricket and form," he said from his hotel quarantine in Christchurch.
"He played out of his skin, making 50s everywhere, really. T20 is such an adaptation game, and the way he adapted, especially at Optus Stadium [Perth's home ground], to be able to perform there shows that he's still got it."
Richardson was also open in his delight that he won't have to be bowling to his teammate.
"While it would be pretty good to see him again, I'm happy I might not have to bowl to him. With his quirky shoulder movements and how low he stays, he's certainly a different player, but we saw in the Big Bash how well he did."
Munro's already withdrawn from the Pakistan Super League, which begins on February 21, where he was due to play for Islamabad United, because of difficulties with finding quarantine space for his return to New Zealand after the competition.
Cricinfo reports Munro was scheduled to head straight to Pakistan after the conclusion of the BBL last weekend, but wouldn't have secured a managed isolation spot back in New Zealand after that until mid-May.
While Munro's international return looks unlikely — making his chances of selection for the Twenty20 World Cup in October increasingly slim — the Black Caps won't be short of options at the top of the order.
Skipper Kane Williamson produced unbeaten match-winning innings of 34 and 79 in his brief time with Northern Districts, Glenn Phillips has scored 156 runs in his nine Super Smash innings at a strike rate of 162, and Tim Seifert managed 281 runs at 116.
Devon Conway, who made his Black Caps debut earlier this summer, has mustered 362 runs, while his Wellington teammate Finn Allen has shown why the Firebirds were so willing to snaffle him up when he left Auckland.
After a slow start in the four-day Plunket Shield earlier in the season, the 21-year-old opener has scored 496 runs at an average of 62 and a strike rate of 196, with the defending champions already guaranteed of playing in Saturday's Super Smash final.
Incumbent Black Caps opener Martin Guptill has struggled for form, scoring just 46 runs in four innings before sitting out the rest of Auckland's beleaguered campaign with a hamstring injury.
However if coach Gary Stead's comments last week are anything to go by, then they'll continue to pick Guptill.
"Form can come and go at times, but it's one knock around the corner and we have faith he'll come good."