Mitchell Starc, one of the greatest pacers of the current age, avoids franchise cricket, including the IPL, despite the lucrative money on offer because he prefers to perform at his “best” for Australia.
For Starc, representing Australia in Test cricket is of the utmost importance. He hopes that more young people will pursue this road in the future.
Many of Starc’s coworkers have participated in international T20 competitions like the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Big Bash, but the left-arm pacer has avoided the temptation.
“I liked it (the IPL), and I liked my time at Yorkshire ten years ago, but Australia will always be first,” the speaker said. I have no regrets about anything; money will come and go, but I am really appreciative of the possibilities I’ve been given, Starc told ‘The Guardian’.
Less than 500 men have represented Australia in Test cricket over the last 100 years; this fact alone makes being a part of it incredibly remarkable.
“The traditionalist in me still believes that there is a generation of young people who desire to play Test cricket for their nation. Franchise cricket, however, offers quick money and a fast pathway to fame, he said.
The 33-year-old is certain that Test cricket will continue to be his first focus for the foreseeable future. He last played franchise cricket in 2015 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
“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 said.
On Sunday, Australia overcame India by a score of 209 runs to win the World Test Championship for the first time. The Australian team has now won every ICC trophy after also taking home the ODI, T20, and Champions Trophy championships.
“After a Test victory, nothing makes me happier than to relax with my teammates and take stock of our week’s achievements. To be able to play on the baggy green among many of my close friends, players I’ve played the game with my whole life,” Starc remarked.
“Franchise cricket is amazing, but in a year you can be bought, sold, or swapped, but this is a chance (playing Tests) that I’ve been privileged to enjoy for more than ten years now…To be able to put on the baggy green with many of my close friends, players I grew up playing with.
Starc praised England for revolutionising Test cricket by adopting the “Bazball” strategy while led by captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, but he questioned if they would be able to do so in the Ashes against a strong bowling lineup like Australia.
“Will they still be so aggressive with the Ashes on the line if we get classic English surfaces, which nip about, and if the overhead conditions play a part? We’ll probably find out, Starc remarked.