History will be made in 48 hours' time at the Telstra Dome stadium in Melbourne when wounded Australia play the Rest of the World in a three-match Super Series before a full six-day Test match in Sydney.
The junket is a blatant commercial exercise and therefore open to a charge of not being taken seriously - there are no ranking points at stake, which means no real competitive edge in what could be a glorified exhibition series of matches and the world's top players are claiming that the top-heavy compulsory current international itineraries are speeding up an inevitable burn-out.
Except for one crucial counterpoint. The regaining of the Ashes by England caused ripples of astonishment and pleasure everywhere in world cricket - except Down Under.
The Aussies are still officially ranked top of the shop but their 2-1 defeat in this country stung them badly. The selectors chopped Damien Martyn, Jason Gillespie and Mike Kasprowicz.
Glenn McGrath - he of the 5-0 defeat of England as a forecast that went slightly awry - is back in verbal action again, saying: "I am looking forward to the challenge of knocking over the blokes classed as the best in the world. It is important for us to bounce back with a few wins and get back to business as usual."
His unspoken small print needs reading between the lines . . . " The blokes classed as the best players in the world."
Classed as? Is he really saying that Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen don't deserve their selection for the Rest of the World. We haven't mentioned Andrew Flintoff yet.
What about bowling all-rounders such as "Freddie" who frightened the life out of the Baggy Greens, plus Shaun Pollock and Shahid Afridi, backed up by the likes of Shoaib Akhtar and Muttiah Muralitharan?
The three one-dayers will be played under the roof and floodlights of the Telstra Dome and will be televised live by Sky Sports, starting at 5am UK time on Wednesday, followed by the second and third matches on Friday and Sunday.
The Australians might have clinched the one-day tournament at Lord's in July but the world opposition really does look as though they have more firepower in all departments. Coach John Wright says he has studied closely videos of England's successes with particular reference to the methods used and the successful game plans devised by Duncan Fletcher.
This time, there is no Shane Warne in the 50-over matches. The key to one-day cricket is a well-organised attack and captain Pollock, Flintoff and Kallis are three of the meanest in the business. Even Adam Gilchrist might have to continue his struggles against that trio.
The one thing in Australia's favour is that Andrew Symonds is in their side, as is Michael Hussey whose omission from the Test squad last summer remains a huge mystery.
Flintoff sat out yesterday's warm- up game because of a bruised shoulder inflicted in the nets by new colleague Akhtar - another example of the serious approach by the ROW.
Bookmakers price the first match at evens - take your pick but, even in a sprint game, the Aussies will be at full stretch with bat and ball. As we saw a few weeks ago when they were also at full stretch, only Warne's epic heroics prevented a disintegration in the last four Tests. The next three one-dayers are for real, all right.