Can We Expect to See Mitchell Starc in IPL 2023?

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By Mahim

Mitchell Starc, one of the most sought-after bowlers in world cricket, has once again decided to skip the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. The Australian pacer opted against registering himself for this year’s auction and will not be a part of any IPL team this season. His decision to stay away from the tournament is consistent with his stance that Test Cricket should take precedence over other formats.

The 32-year old Starc last played for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) during the 2015 edition of IPL and since then he has been reluctant to participate in T20 leagues around the world. However, despite being absent from such tournaments, he still remains a force to reckon with in the longer format of the game.

The left-arm pacer has brushed away criticism coming his way and maintained that he would not want to compromise on his red-ball cricket by playing 12 months a year. He believes that going for T20 leagues without taking adequate rest might hamper his performance in Tests. “It may have [hampered T20 bowling] but if I’d gone there, having no break and playing 12 months of the year, what does that affect? Do I break down? Does it affect my red-ball cricket? You can’t just sit there and go ‘he should go to the IPL’ because he’d be a better T20 bowler. I don’t regret any of those decisions not to go. I wouldn’t change it,” remarked Starc during an interaction with ESPNCricinfo last November.

The absence of the Australian pacer was felt at this year’s IPL auction as many marquee players made sure that the franchises broke their banks for their acquisition in their respective squads. Sam Curran, Cameron Green, Ben Stokes, and Nicholas Pooran were amongst the overseas stars who hogged the limelight after they became some of the most expensive players at this year’s IPL auction.

Green managed to grab a lot of attention when he joined five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) for a whopping 17.25 Crore. Other Aussies in Jhye Richardson (MI), Adam Zampa (RR), and Daniel Sams (LSG) were also found worthy of bids. However, a host of other high-profile cricketers like Travis Head, Nathan Coulter Nile, Chris Lynn, Moises Henriques could not make it into any of the ten franchise squads.

The IPL will be incomplete without big names like Mitchell Starc but looking at his consistent decision to stay away from T20 leagues around the world and prioritize Tests instead, one can understand why he is taking this stance. He has been clear about his priorities and does not want to compromise on them for anyone or any tournament.

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