Mitchell Starc Wants To Play More Sheffield Shield Games, So He Skipped IPL 2021
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Mitchell Starc Wants To Play More Sheffield Shield Games, So He Skipped IPL 2021

Australia's Mitchell Starc prepares to bowl during the World Cup group stage match against England at Lord's Cricket Ground in London. Image Credit: AFP
Australia's Mitchell Starc prepares to bowl during the World Cup group stage match against England at Lord's Cricket Ground in London. Image Credit: AFP

Mitchell Starc, Australia’s veteran left-arm seamer, has been away from the Indian Premier League (IPL) for quite some time now. He had last featured in IPL in the 2015 edition but has been missing the elite tournament either due to injuries or to manage his workload.

The seamer was expected to feature in IPL 2021 and register his name for auction, however, surprisingly he decided to let go of the opportunity for featuring in the Australian domestic tournament to prepare for the upcoming T20I World Cup. He has played in only 2 editions of IPL and picked 14 scalps and 20 scalps respectively in the first and second season respectively.

Mithcell Starc hasn't played IPL since 2015. Photo: BCCI
Mitchell Starc hasn’t played IPL since 2015. Photo: BCCI

Mitchell Starc Wanted To Play Sheffield Shield More As A Senior Head

The decision by Mitchell Starc had left many cricket fans amused and bewildered. The 31-year-old, who has featured in 27 IPL games picking 34 wickets, finally decided to break his silence on his absence from the T20 Extravaganza.

Mitchell Starc reckoned that he is more inclined towards playing the red-ball cricket in the Sheffield Shield Trophy and is looking forward to essaying the role of a senior head in the Sheffield Shield when many of the senior players will travel to India for IPL.

“I wanted to play as much Shield cricket as I could. Managing a few little things with the body and wanting to play as much red-ball cricket as I could with certain guys heading off to the IPL, it was my intention to be the constant in the Shield team and hopefully play the role there as a senior head in the team” Starc told cricket.com.au, explaining his decision to skip the IPL.

Mitchell Starc | Twitter@CricketAus
Mitchell Starc | [email protected]

Thus far, the Australian seamer has featured in 5 games for his team New South Wales in the 2021 edition of the tournament. South Wales is one of the top contenders for qualifying for the finals as they are placed at the second spot in the points table with 29 points. Mitchell Starc is hoping that his team qualifies for the marquee event as he has never featured in the final of the league and dreams of winning the title.

“I haven’t played in a Shield final yet, I’d love to help the boys get there and take part and hopefully be a part of the group to win the Shield. That was my first intention. I’ve played three formats for a long time, and I find my game plan doesn’t change too much across the formats but still, Shield and Test match cricket is the pinnacle for me,” Mitchell Starc concluded.

So far, in 5 matches for New South Wales in the 2021 edition of the tournament, he picked 15 scalps at 41.53.

Mitchell Starc Featured In Only IPL 2014 And IPL 2015 Picking 34 Scalps In 27 Games

Mitchell Starc’s absence has seen other Australian pacers making bagging large sums of money at auctions. In 2020, Pat Cummins emerged as the costliest pick in the auction as he joined Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 15.5 crore. This year, capped pacer Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith bagged contracts with Rs 14 crore and 8 crores, respectively, with Punjab Kings.

Pat Cummins wins INR 1 Lakh despite being expensive with the ball
Pat Cummins (Image Source: IPLt20)

Mitchell Starc has only played 2 seasons of IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore. He has scalped 34 wickets in 27 matches averaging 20.38. He bagged a contract worth Rs 9.4 crore with Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2018 but had to pull out due to an injury suffered on the South Africa tour a few weeks before the start of the season.

In the 2014 Indian Premier League (IPL), he was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore and quickly became their key bowler in the IPL 2015 edition. After missing the beginning of the tournament with an injury, he came back and continued on with his good form from the World Cup 2015. Having also missed the 2016 edition of IPL, in February 2017, he parted ways with Royal Challengers Bangalore in order to focus on international cricket.

On 27 January 2018, in the 2018 IPL auction, he was bought for ₹9.4 crores by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). On 30 March, he was ruled out of the 2018 IPL season due to injury. He along with many other Australian bowlers including Pat Cummins didn’t enroll for the IPL 2019 Auction to focus on the Cricket World Cup 2019 and withdrew from IPL 2020 at UAE for T20I World Cup in Australia which was postponed.