Mitchell Starc is finally considering a return to the IPL for the first time since 2015 as he tries to balance Australia’s Test commitments in the subcontinent with preparation for the T20 World Cup title defense at home in October. In an interaction ahead of the fifth Ashes Test in Hobart, Starc revealed he was seriously giving a thought to enter the IPL mega auction, which is scheduled for February. Starc has only played in two editions of the IPL, back in 2014 and 2015 for Royal Challengers Bangalore, despite being one of the top and most valuable T20 bowlers in the world over the last seven years.
He bagged 34 wickets in 27 matches for Royal Challengers at an economy rate of 7.16 and a strike rate of 17. As a multi-format player for Australia, Starc has been using the IPL window in the April-May period each year to rest and recover and also spend time with his wife, Alyssa Healy, given the couple is separated for large portions of each year because of their respective playing routines. Starc has plenty to consider from a workload perspective.
Australia are scheduled to play three-match ODI series and one-off T20I at home against New Zealand that follows the Ashes, and then a five-match T20I series against Sri Lanka in February. The Test team will then go to Pakistan in late February ahead of three Tests in March, followed by three ODIs and one T20I finishing on April 5.
“I’ve got two days to get my paperwork in so that might be something I do today before training,” Starc said. “I’ve not put my name down just yet, but I’ve got a couple more days to decide on that. It’s certainly on the table, regardless of the schedule coming up. I haven’t been for six years or so. With obviously a heavy weighting towards T20s over the last period of time and the World Cup coming up later this year, that’s one to take into consideration.”
“The schedules are quite jam-packed, when you throw in all the tours, obviously we’ve got a couple of white-ball series post the Ashes before that Pakistan tour,” Starc said. “Then you take in consideration the IPL, then a Sri Lankan tour after that, so it’s a massive six months of cricket for everyone, but certainly for those multi-format players.
“We had a bit of a briefing the other day about the upcoming tour [of Pakistan]. I think it’ll take some time for all players to process that information. And then obviously, we’ve got a Test match this week to play and perform in and then we’ll move on to what comes next.”
Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.