Andrew Flintoff's preparation for England's second-one-day international against Pakistan in Lahore is set to be compromised by an unfortunate clash with a highprofile television appearance in the early hours.
England's premier allrounder is a strong favourite to win the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year Award on Sunday - but because the poll is decided by a live viewer vote he must wait up until 3am the following day for the moment when he seems likely to receive the trophy.
The five-hour time difference between London and Lahore, where England are on tour, means the end of the BBC's flagship awards show - at around 10pm GMT - will mean Flintoff must be up well into the small hours in Pakistan
Yet by 9am that same morning, if he is to feature in the second fixture in England's five- match series, he will need to be on the team bus heading for the Gaddafi Stadium where the day-nighter gets under way at 11am.
An England and Wales Cricket Board spokesman explained there appears to be no viable alternative other than for Flintoff to be ready to attend a ceremony at the team hotel which will be broadcast live back in England if he does in fact win the award.
"It is obviously not an ideal situation, but it does not seem there is any way around it," he said.
Some consideration was reportedly given to the possibility of filming a ceremony which could be broadcast live in the event of Flintoff winning - but it was deemed unfair on viewers to be asked to vote for an outcome only to discover their decision might conceivably already have been pre-judged.
"The viewers' vote will be continuing while the programme is on air, and the integrity of that vote is obviously something the BBC has to respect at all costs," the ECB spokesman added.
No cricketer has won the BBC award since Ian Botham after his sensational performances in the 1981 Ashes series, almost a quarter of a century ago, and Flintoff's success against the same opponents in 2005 has put him in line to win the individual award and made England front-runners to be named the team of the year.
Botham received the award while on tour in India in 1981. Other British sporting stars to receive the award while overseas in the past include Jim Laker in South Africa in 1956 and snooker champion Steve Davis, who accepted it in 1988 in Italy.
A BBC statement said: "It's important to note that until Sunday evening we will not know who will win Sports Personality of the Year, because it is a live vote on the night.
"In terms of Andrew Flintoff's nomination, all decisions made about his possible receipt of the award have been made in full collaboration and cooperation with the ECB.
"The award is a very prestigious one and Andrew Flintoff has expressed a desire, should he win it, to receive it live."