Post IPL glory, Starc hints at quitting ODIs

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 27, 2024 IST

Mitchell Starc

Chennai, May 27: Mitchell Starc, the fearsome Australian left-arm pacer was the  Player of the Final in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 on Sunday night.

He was not at his best in most of the matches he played in IPL this season. But towards the final stages of the tournament, he was at his peak again. Even in the first Qualifier, he was impressive.

On Sunday night at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, the delivery Starc bowled to Sunrisers Hyderabad opener Abhishek Sharma was an example of his rare abilities at the bigger stages.

However, in the post-match conversations, Starc hinted on his ODI retirement. He said with a long wait before the next one-day World Cup, he might shift focus to more franchise cricket around the world.

Starc's return to the IPL has been nothing short of spectacular, culminating in a title win with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). After years of prioritising international cricket, Starc's decision to rejoin the cash-rich league paid off, and he now contemplates altering his cricketing commitments, potentially stepping away from ODIs.

Mitchell Starc, who had largely stayed away from the IPL during his peak years to focus on his national duties and manage his workload, revealed his thoughts on this shift at a press conference following KKR's emphatic win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL 2024 final by eight wickets. KKR secured their third IPL title, with Starc playing a pivotal role.

"The last nine years, I've prioritised Australian cricket. I have given myself a chance to give my body a break and spend some time away from cricket with my wife as well, so that's certainly been where my head's been for the last nine years," Starc said at a press conference.

"Moving forward… look, I am certainly closer to the end of my career than the start. One format may drop off. There is long time before the next one-day World Cup and whether that format continues for me or not… it may open doors for more franchise cricket."

"I've thoroughly enjoyed this season," he said. "It's been great, it leads into the World Cup, that's the other side of the benefit of being here against some amazing players in an amazing tournament. It's a great lead-up to a World Cup.

"Next year - I don't know the schedule exactly - but I've enjoyed it, I look forward to being back next year and hopefully be seen in purple and gold [KKR's colours] again."

Starc's consideration of dropping ODIs from his cricketing calendar could mean more appearances in franchise cricket, including the IPL. Despite being the most expensive player in IPL auction history, fetched for Rs. 24.75 crore by KKR, Starc had a tough start to the season. He conceded 100 runs in his first two games without taking a wicket, but his performance dramatically improved as the tournament progressed.

Starc's match-winning figures of 3-34 and 2-14 in Qualifier 1 and the final, respectively, against SRH showcased his ability to perform under pressure. His efforts were instrumental in KKR's dominant campaign, ending with a resounding victory in the final.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed this season," Starc said. "It's been great, it leads into the World Cup, that's the other side of the benefit of being here against some amazing players in an amazing tournament. It's a great lead-up to a World Cup. Next year - I don't know the schedule exactly - but I've enjoyed it, I look forward to being back next year and hopefully be seen in purple and gold (KKR's colours) again," he said.

"I've played a lot of cricket, so I know how to manage myself. I haven't played a lot of T20 cricket in the last few years, so for me, it was trying to find that rhythm of [the] T20 format, and trying to stay ahead of batters," Starc concluded.

Mitchell Starc regaining his form just at the final stages of IP 2024 did help the KK in winning the championship after a decade. But if the  fearsome Aussie continues to trouble batters in the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, then Australia, who are one of the best balanced sides in world cricket, disseminating the rival teams cannot be ruled out. 

Will Starc spearhead Australian pace attack and help his side win another World Cup title, that definitely will be clear in the coming days. (With IANS support)

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