A first-of-its-kind national 10-team Twenty20 tournament featuring the country's best Premier Cricket T20 sides will be held during March 2019 in Adelaide.
The winner of each state and territory's respective T20 competitions will qualify for the national event, with Victoria and New South Wales to each send two teams.
The first side to make the cut will be revealed later this month at the conclusion of the Northern Territory Strike League, a month-long tournament featuring Tasmanian Tigers and/or Hobart Hurricanes players like Jake Doran (Northern Tide), Aaron Summers (City Cyclones) and Ryan Lees (Northern Tide) along with a host of other leading domestic cricketers, which kicked off last weekend in Darwin.
The other nine sides to qualify will be the winners of the Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and ACT Premier T20 tournaments, as well as the two finalists from the Victorian and New South Wales competitions.
Those state competitions will be held simultaneously over the December to January period announced Cricket Australia.
This national Premier T20 competition, to be held at Adelaide’s Karen Rolton Oval precinct on March 5-6 in 2019, could see Steve Smith (Sutherland Cricket Club) or David Warner (Randwick Petersham) compete should either or both their clubs qualify.
Both have committed to playing for their club teams next season as they serve 12-month bans through to late March due to their involvement in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
Bancroft, who will play for his Premier side Willeton in Perth, will see his nine-month ban lift in December.
Premier Cricket is an integral part of the Australian cricket pathway and often features international and domestic players when their schedules permit.
For example, had a national competition been held with last season's Premier T20 winners, Australia players Peter Siddle, James Pattinson (Dandenong), Pat Cummins (Penrith), George Bailey, Alex Doolan, Xavier Doherty (South Hobart Sandy Bay) and Mitch Swepson (Sandgate-Redcliffe) could have all featured.
As well as the possibility of some big names turning out, the tournament represents a major opportunity for unheralded or overlooked club stars to show their T20 skills at a higher level and potentially attract interest from KFC Big Bash sides.
While only a men’s competition will take place this season, there are plans for a Women’s Premier T20 competition to follow in 2019-20.
Cricket Australia have also revived the T20 component of the Toyota Futures League, with a four-day carnival to be held from January 28 – 31 next year.