New baby about to arrive? An injury requiring treatment or maybe just homesick? All these reasons have meant players flying home from England cricket tours recently.
But as the trickle of departing players from England's successful Ashes tour has reached gush proportions, it was a surprise for fans to learn today that it is not always the usual reasons which cause these premature departures.
Jimmy Anderson, the 'Burnley Express' has already flown home once to be there for the birth of his child. But now, a whistle blower has released to CrickiLeaks, the new offshoot of Wikileaks, showing e-mails between Anderson and the Touchy-Feely Department at the ECB's offices in Loughborough. Approval was given for a second return for Anderson to Blighty in the normal way. But this time, it was to ensure that his quarterly Gas readings would take place.
The hunky quick, who has become such an icon for the England team that he has even been featured recently on the front cover of the launch issue of cricket's first gay magazine, The Middle Stump, was adamant that there was no alternative.
'The ODI's are important, but with my wife busy going back and forth to the hospital with our new born, we wanted to make sure that our utility readings were completed properly as the big one approaches. Asked to confirm that he meant the upcoming World Cup in India, Jimmy was quick to confirm that he was actually referring to the large spring utility bills that include all the heavy winter expenditure.
Readings confirmed, Anderson returned to Australia where he nearly broke a record for the largest amount of runs conceded by an England bowler in an ODI. Members of the Barmy Army, who have taken the Lancashire fast man to their thickened artery hearts, remained unconvinced when Anderson told them that he was trying to get his bowling figures to match his Gas bill.
Back in Team England, Head Coach Andy Flower denied that his team's poor showing in the ODI series was down to too much time checking on the winter bill issues back home. Nonetheless, all computers have been banned from the team bus and Flower himself is screening e-mails to all of his players, keeping an eye out for Spam likely to include offers from Utility companies offering incentives for switching accounts.
With only 30 minutes at home after returning from Australia before returning to the Sub Continent for the the World Cup in India, Flower has insisted that those in his squad not on direct debit currently get on it fast.
Project 'Sort Code' is reviewed daily at the nets down under by Flower's 23 assistants who make frequent use of the website UtiltySupermarket.web, known for the deeply depressing cameo performances of a well known Iranian club cricketer in their current TV ad campaign believed to be turning the nation's viewers to drink.
'Keeping outstanding bills down to a minimum will give us the best chance of success in India', said Flower, known by insiders to have 237 direct debits himself covering payments across the full range of the usual utilities used by members of the modern day international cricket fraternity.