A few days after being crowned Australia’s leading male player, Mitchell Starc revealed there were times over the last couple of years when he did found it hard to continue playing the sport.
Starc was named the Allan Border Medalist on Saturday, finishing a solitary vote ahead of Mitchell Marsh, after a 12-month period that was finished by his leading role in the 4-0 Ashes victory. He was also a regular part of Australia’s successful T20 World Cup campaign and the star player in their one ODI series against West Indies.
His statement comes at a time where bio-bubbles continue to place significant restrictions on players and for Starc followed a 2020-21 season where he played on while his father was gravely ill before his sad demise in February.
Starc has undoubtedly been one of the most scrutinized bowlers of the current generation and kicked off the home season with some question marks over his spot in the side, although Cummins revealed that there was never such a discussion within the team.
Starc reflects on being awarded the prestigious medal
“The last two years, as life is at the moment, there’s a lot of ups and downs,” Starc said after claiming the award for the first time. “You find ways to adapt and what not, but it’s a reflection of the support base I have had throughout those two years as well. There’s certainly been times when I haven’t played my best cricket or certainly times over those two years where I didn’t want to play any cricket. I’m very thankful for my support networks and in particular Alyssa, to play cricket at the highest level [and] be there to support me as well, I can’t thank her enough for that.”
“It goes back to the work you do behind the scenes, and the work you put in with [strength and conditioning] and time spent with physios and what not,” Starc said. “A huge thanks to the support staff, particularly [Australian Men’s] physio David Beakley to keep me on the park for five Test matches and keep me on the park for five and let me play five. Think at times I’ve certainly bowled better or had better spells than I may have had throughout this summer, but the consistency is the main one for me,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be better at that. [It was] probably one of my more consistent series so that was a nice little one to acknowledge the work I’ve done or others have helped me with.
“I’m 32 tomorrow so hopefully I can continue that, don’t know how much room for improvement there is, but it’s always about the really good stuff and the not so good and closing that gap so hopefully I can continue that. I was a click of the button away from entering the auction but personally didn’t want to spend 22 more weeks in a bubble,” he said. “They’ll be a time where I’d love to go back to the IPL but in terms of wanting to play as much as I can for Australia that’s a decision I’ve done for a while.”