Australia’s left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc, who hasn’t played a single game of franchise T20 cricket in more than eight years, has finally expressed his wish to play again in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) but also reminded that playing international cricket comes as first priority for him.
Starc had last appeared in the IPL in 2015, playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
“Being able to spend time with my family is part of it. 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. I enjoyed it, likewise I enjoyed my time at Yorkshire 10 years ago, but Australia will always sit at the top. 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,” Starc was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
Meanwhile, the left-arm pacer rates playing Test cricket for Australia high over playing franchise cricket and his comments come just after Australia won the 2023 World Test Championship (WTC) final in a 209-run defeat to India at The Oval.
“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 added.
Starc also reckoned that Test cricket is going through an interesting moment in the cricketing world, especially with talk of franchise cricket owners giving 12-month contract to the players and hopes for the longer format to be played for a long time.
“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,” he expressed.
“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,” he added.