England all-rounder Ben Stokes was spotted flying to New Zealand on Tuesday, intending to catch up with his family.
But there might be more to it.
Canterbury, who play in New Zealand's domestic competition, has confirmed they have been in "initial, informal discussions" with Stokes about playing for them.
An agreement could see Stokes available to play for Canterbury in the 50-over competition starting this weekend, on December 3, as well as the 20-over competition starting on December 13.
Stokes has also been granted a No Objection Clearance by the England and Wales Cricket Board to play domestic cricket if he can come to an agreement with a team, according to ESPNcricinfo.
"Following the recent speculation surrounding Ben Stokes coming to New Zealand, Canterbury Cricket can now confirm that they have been in initial informal discussions with Ben Stokes’ representatives regarding his potential availability for Ford Trophy and Burger King Super Smash competitions," Canterbury said in a statement.
It increases the all-rounder's chances of playing international cricket in time for the Ashes if the ECB are willing to let him to play domestically.
It also gives him the chance to feature at a high level for the first time in months, in time for the possibility of playing Test cricket.
Canterbury coach Gary Stead earlier said, although he hadn't heard from Stokes, he would definitely consider signing him.
"He's a world-class allrounder. I think we'd be stupid not to consider it (Stokes playing)," he told AAP.
Canterbury have international players such as Tom Latham, Matt Henry and Henry Nicholls on their list.
The team will play 50-over games on December 3, December 6 and December 10 before breaking for the 20-over competition, with Canterbury's first T20 on December 14.