Money talks for stars in BBL: Smith

Cricket Australia may need to continue forking out extra money to keep stars coming back to the Big Bash, with Steve Smith saying money would always be a factor for players juggling busy workloads.

The BBL has long faced criticism for not featuring Australia's marquee talents, who are usually unavailable for all or part of the tournament because of commitments with the Test side.

But Smith and David Warner will make their long-awaited returns this weekend after three and nine years out, respectively.

Smith is squeezing in four games for the Sydney Sixers and Warner five for the Sydney Thunder, before both are whisked away on the Test tour of India that begins in February.

To entice the superstar batters into spending precious weeks off playing in the BBL, Cricket Australia (CA) had to supplement their salaries with money from their marketing budget, so as to come closer to the wages they could command playing in overseas T20 leagues.

Ahead of a busy year of international cricket, Warner's decision to forgo nights at home with the family to play in the BBL was not made lightly.

"If you're playing all three forms (for Australia), you've got until November away," he said.

"Me and my family have been through that and it's very challenging."

Smith admitted he was unsure how to draw the best talent to the BBL, but said money would inevitably be a factor.

"I don't know the exact answer, but that's the key, being able to get the best players in Australia and overseas players to be a part of our league," he said.

"I think (money) does at times certainly talk, and the length of (the tournament) certainly talks."

Another solution to boosting the star-power of the tournament could be signing players who have already announced their retirements from Test cricket.

Australian cricket legends Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne and Brett Lee all played in the BBL in its infancy after their Test careers ended.

Warner, who hasn't played in the BBL since the summer of 2013/14, admitted he had expected he would only return to the tournament at a similar point in his own career.

"I thought more towards my retirement, at the back end (would be when I would play again)," he said.

"I always had plans to do that."

Smith said he would consider playing a full tournament when he eventually retired from the Australian Test side.

"It's a lot easier on the mind and body (than Test cricket)," he said.

"It doesn't take too much out of you. It's definitely something I'll be looking at potentially when I finish up."