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Would love to play IPL again but Australia remains ultimate focus: Starc

Last updated on 12 Jun 2023 | 06:03 PM
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Would love to play IPL again but Australia remains ultimate focus: Starc

Mitchell Starc also put down franchise cricket as a ‘fast track’ to notoriety

Over the years, Mitchell Starc has evolved and evolved as a fast bowler, and a lot of that has to be attributed to his work rate away from the high-paced franchise cricket. The left-arm pacer last played the Indian Premier League (IPL) way back in 2015 for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and hasn’t been part of the tournament since then. 

When asked about whether he regrets the decision, the now World Test Championship winner Starc insisted that Australia remains his ultimate choice. Alongside that, the left-arm pacer also reckoned that he would love to play in the IPL again, but when put in a contest between IPL and Australia, he would always choose the country. Even though he was expensive, Starc played a crucial role in Australia's win earlier in the week against India, with the important scalps of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane in respective innings. 

“But it is also about getting myself in a position where I can play my best cricket for Australia. I’d certainly love to play in the IPL again, but my goal for a long time has been to be at my best for Australia, no matter the format,” Starc told The Guardian. 

“I enjoyed it, likewise I enjoyed my time at Yorkshire 10 years ago, but Australia will always sit at the top,” he added.

Starc, who had an ordinary Test career before the start of last year’s Ashes against England at home, insisted that he doesn’t ‘regret’ missing out on franchise cricket, and only emoted that he feels grateful about playing the longest format for the country. 

“I don’t regret any of it, money will come and go but I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. Over a hundred years of Test cricket and there’s been less than 500 men who have played it for Australia, that in itself makes it very special to be a part of it,” he added.

Unlike franchise cricket, Starc believes a lot in continuity and success and reckoned that Test cricket has given him the opportunity to play for Australia over ten years. 

“There’s nothing I love more in cricket than to sit back with my teammates at the end of a Test win and reflect on the success we’ve had that week. To be able to pull on the baggy green with a lot of my close mates, guys I’ve grown up in the game with. I mean, franchise cricket is great, but you can be bought or sold or traded in 12 months, whereas this is an opportunity that I’ve been fortunate enough to have over 10 years now,” he reckoned. 

One interesting note that Starc made about the franchise cricket was that it is a ‘fast-track’ to notoriety, and warned that he is still a ‘traditionalist’ at heart and would always choose Test cricket. 

“There’s more and more franchise cricket, and more and more talk about 12-month franchise contracts, where it would potentially be like football, where you have an international window, or you need clearance from your club to go and play international sport. The traditionalist in me still hopes there is a generation of boys and girls who want to represent their country in Test cricket. But the easy money is in franchise cricket, it’s the fast track to notoriety.”

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