Star import Dwayne Smith won't play in Perth Scorchers' Big Bash League opener against Brisbane Heat on Sunday and could miss the entire tournament after failing to fly to Australia because of personal reasons.
The explosive West Indian only told the Scorchers about his issues on Tuesday, leaving it too late for the franchise to chase a replacement import.
For now, coach Justin Langer said Perth were doing everything they could to convince Smith to honour his BBL deal.
"He has personal problems back in Barbados. I can understand it from his point of view, but it's frustrating that we only found out two days ago," Langer said.
"We're just going to have to work our way around that and do the best we can without him.
"We're working closely with his management group to see when he can arrive.
"I think he is going through some tough times at home, so there is some doubt (if he will play at all)."
Smith was trumpeted as the signing which could potentially help the Scorchers finally win the BBL title after finishing runners-up in the first two seasons.
He is considered one of the best T20 players in the world and was voted player of the series playing for Mumbai Indians in this year's Champions League.
The 30-year-old was earmarked to open the batting alongside last season's leading run-scorer Shaun Marsh.
"At such short notice we're just going to have to play one of our local players," Langer said.
"We've got some guys that have played international cricket.
"Shaun obviously, he's been fantastic opening the batting in shorter forms of cricket.
"Ashton Agar did a pretty good job in the Champions League … Simon Katich also. I have always felt that the most senior players in T20 cricket are suited to opening the batting or batting in the top three, so he's an option."
All-rounder Mitch Marsh is virtually a new signing after missing last season through injury. He said he now had complete confidence in his body and wouldn't be holding back.