Australian speedster Mitchell Starc represented IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2014 and 2015 but hasn’t been a part of the lucrative league since then. The 31-year-old has 34 IPL scalps to his name at a strike rate of 17.05 and is still RCB’s eighth-highest wicket-taker.
He bagged a contract worth Rs 9.4 crore with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) 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.
Speaking to cricket.com.au official website, Starc has revealed the reason behind skipping the IPL 2021. The left-arm pacer reckoned that he is more inclined towards playing the red-ball cricket and is keen to essay the role of a senior head for New South Wales (NSW) in the Sheffield Shield Trophy.
Starc has taken 15 wickets in five Shield matches for NSW, who are currently second in the points table.
“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,” said Starc explaining his decision to skip the IPL.
Meanwhile, Starc’s absence from the IPL has seen other Australian fast bowlers making big gains over the years. In 2020, Pat Cummins emerged as the costliest buy in the auction as KKR roped him in for Rs 15.5 crore. This year, Jhye Richardson and uncapped pacer Riley Meredith bagged contracts for Rs 14 crore and 8 crore, respectively, with Punjab Kings.
The 14th season of the IPL will be played entirely in India, starting on April 9, with the final set for May 30. The tournament will be played across six cities: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.