Starc hints at quitting a format to play more franchise cricket

Australia pacer Mitchell Starc, who has avoided the allure of lucrative private leagues for nearly a decade due to his commitment to the national team, has hinted he may skip a format to incorporate more franchise cricket into his schedule.

Although the 34-year-old pacer did not reveal which format he would like to quit, given that the next 50-over World Cup will be in 2027, it is likely to be the ODI format.

Starc was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a record Rs 24.75 crore in the auction and he performed brilliantly at the end of the recently concluded IPL 2024. He played a key role in the Shah Rukh Khan-owned team’s title win by taking a total of 17 wickets in the tournament, including five wickets in two knockout matches.

To a question from PTI on how he would take it forward from here after his best year in franchise cricket, Starc hinted that T20 could find prominence in his schedule.

Starc, who took two wickets for 14 runs in the final against Sunrisers Hyderabad, said after KKR’s title win, “In the last nine years, I have definitely given priority to Australian cricket. I mostly withdrew from these tournaments to give my body a rest and get a chance to spend some time with my wife away from cricket, so my mind has definitely been focused on this in the last nine years.

He said, “I am definitely nearing the end of my career. A format can be removed because there is still a lot of time till the next World Cup and whether that format is removed or not, it will open the doors for a lot of franchise cricket.

Starc said this year’s IPL helped him prepare for the T20 World Cup starting in the West Indies on June 1. He said, “… this is the other side of the advantage of being here, some great players in a great tournament and great preparation and success before the World T20 has been great. It is great that many players are in very good shape for the World Cup.”

Starc hopes to play for KKR next year as well. He said, “I don’t know the program very well, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to be back next year and hopefully I will be seen in the purple and gold jersey (KKR’s jersey color) again.”

Starc, like many others, agreed that the impact player rule led to big scores in the IPL and the T20 World Cup will not see a big score like 270. He said that he expects more help for spinners in the T20 World Cup.

When asked how his body is doing after two months of IPL, he said, “T20 is not as physically demanding as Test cricket and it is hot, humid weather here, so it does have its effect, but it is okay. The weather in West Indies will be cooler than here.”

He said, “Impact players are the rule here and it is not the case in the World Cup and you have to make a team that is more balanced and you rely more on all-rounders. You cannot send your batting all-rounder at number nine like you do in the IPL.”

Starc said, “I don’t think that many runs will be scored, I don’t think 270 can be scored… wickets can play a role because we have seen high scoring matches here and the wickets will not be the same in the West Indies.”

He said, “The wickets can turn and with less bounce towards the end of the tournament they can pose more danger and hope that the bowlers will play a bigger role than in the IPL.” In the end, one of his statements said it all. He said, “Tonight was a perfect night.

Disclaimer: CricketInFocus has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.

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