The woman embroiled in former Test cricket captain Tim Paine's texting saga may be forced to represent herself at a court hearing into stealing allegations because of difficulties finding legal representation.
Renee Ferguson, 49, is accused of stealing thousands of dollars, plus memberships, from former employer Cricket Tasmania, where she worked as a receptionist from 2015-17.
Ferguson, who the court was told now goes by the surname Caroll, said she has been unable to find an instructing solicitor.
The matter, which has been plagued by delays, was in October listed for a two-day hearing beginning February 16.
Ferguson said she was having trouble finding an instructing solicitor and no one was keen to be involved due to the high-profile nature of the case.
Magistrate Catherine Geason told the court Ferguson may need to represent herself.
"It's in everybody's interest, including yours, that this matter is dealt with," she said on Thursday.
"You may or may not be able to be represented, I don't know. Every effort should be made for you to be here with or without a lawyer.
"I just wanted to make it clear, bar something quite compelling ... it just needs to be dealt with."
Ferguson parted ways with lawyer Greg Barns SC last year and enlisted the services of Todd Kovacic, who is seemingly no longer working for her.
Ferguson told the court barrister Marcia Edwards, who had been working with Mr Kovacic, "still wants to help".
She has previously pleaded not guilty to 63 counts of stealing and two counts of dishonestly acquiring a financial advantage.
Ferguson allegedly stole cash, Cricket Tasmania junior and platinum memberships and a Hobart Hurricanes family membership.
Cricket Victoria chief executive Nick Cummins, who was Cricket Tasmania boss from 2017-19, is expected to give evidence at the hearing.
A $1 million sexual harassment compensation claim lodged by Ferguson against Cricket Tasmania was dismissed in October after she took almost three years to file paperwork with the court.
She had claimed she was sexually harassed by Paine and Cricket Tasmania staff.
Paine stepped down as Test captain and took a break from the sport in November 2021 after explicit messages he sent to Ferguson years earlier became public.