Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Starc could skip next year s Indian Premier League and focus on preparing for the World Cup after being dumped by the Kolkata Knight Riders this week via text message.
The left-armer was one of the most expensive buys in the annual bidding war for the 2018 season at US$1.47 million, but he missed the event after a stress fracture in his lower right leg.
The Knight Riders have told him he will not be part of their plans for the 2019 tournament, although it was not clear why.
“I got a text message two days ago from the owners of Kolkata saying I’ve been released from my contract, so at the moment I’ll be home in April,” Starc said in Sydney.
The 2019 IPL auction is due to take place next month and Starc will miss out on a lucrative pay cheque unless he nominates himself for the upcoming season.
While players complained to the Simon Longstaff/Rick McCosker cultural review of CA that they were too often treated as commodities, the market value of Australia’s best fast bowlers is a source of increasing debate.
Starc, who will join Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon in New South Wales’ Sheffield Shield match against Queensland in Canberra from Saturday, said he was happy to prioritise internationals over the IPL, but admitted the security of a longer-term CA deal would be attractive.
He suggested he will forgo the tournament to rest and prepare for the World Cup in June and the sunsequent Ashes tour.
“If I don t play the IPL next year it’s a good opportunity to freshen up for a massive six months of cricket in the UK,” he said.
At the moment for me I just want to play as much Test and one-day cricket for Australia as I can.
“The IPL is a lovely bonus on the pay packet but if I miss that to play more Test matches, I m taking that option.”
I’m sure it would [provide security] for a lot of people, it’s probably no different to working life outside of the sporting field. When you look at some of the dollars involved in the IPL and some for the T20 leagues around the world, for guys who might be on the fringe or what to concentrate on T20 cricket, it’s very beneficial to play, at the moment for me I just want to play as much Test and one-day cricket as I can.