ANI Photo | “One format might drop off….”: Mitchell Starc open to more franchise cricket in future

Australian and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) pacer Mitchell Starc on Sunday hinted at droppping ODI format from his career in near future to pave way for some more participation in franchise cricket, most notably the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The ‘Big Match Starc’ turned up once again during a knockout game, with his fiery powerplay spell setting the tone for KKR’s all-round domination of a strong Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) line-up and team’s third title win, their first since 2014.
Following the game in the post-match presentation, Starc said that over these years, he prioritised Australian cricket anf his body during the IPL. But he really enjoyed this season with KKR and is looking forward to have some more franchise cricket in his life, by possibly dropping the ODI format in near future. The next 50-over World Cup is in 2027 and by that time Starc will be 38 years of age.
“The last nine years, I have 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 is certainly been where my head has 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 have thoroughly enjoyed this season. It has been great, it leads into the T20 World Cup, that’ is the other side of the benefit of being here against some amazing players in an amazing tournament. It is a great lead-up to a World Cup. Next year – I do not know the schedule exactly – but I have enjoyed it, I look forward to being back next year and hopefully be seen in purple and gold [KKR’s colours] again,” concluded Starc.
On him managing his workload and struggling to find his rhythm in the first half of the tournament, Starc said, “I have played a lot of cricket, so I know how to manage myself. I have not 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.”
KKR bought Starc for Rs 24.75 crores in the auctions held last year, making him the most expensive player in the league’s history. However, Starc had a forgettable first half of the season and was taken to the cleaners by batters. The Aussie star bounced back in the second half, especially in the knockout stages, taking five wickets across the qualifier one and the final, both against SRH.
Starc finished the tournament with 17 wickets at an average of 26.11 and an economy rate of 10.61, with the best figures of 4/33 against Mumbai Indians (MI). He ended the tournament as the joint-sixth highest wicket-taker. With 24 scalps in 14 games, Punjab Kings (PBKS) pacer Harshal Patel took the most wickets.
Coming to the match, SRH won the toss and elected to bat first. KKR rocked SRH with continuous wickets, with the big buy Mitchell Starc justifying his Rs 24.75 crores price tag. Only skipper Pat Cummins (24 in 19 balls, with two fours and a six) and Aiden Markram (20 in 23 balls, with three fours) touched the 20-run mark and SRH was bundled out for 113 in 18.3 overs.
Andre Russell (3/19) was the top bowler for KKR. Starc (2/14) and Harshit Rana (2/24) also contributed well with the ball. Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and Vaibhav Arora took a wicket each.
KKR pulled off the run-chase of 114 runs in just 10.3 overs with eight wickets in hand, with Venkatesh Iyer (52* in 26 balls, with four boundaries and three sixes) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (39 in 32 balls, with five fours and two sixes) shining for KKR. (ANI)

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