Mitchell Starc announcement wows cricket world amid nine-year first

The veteran Australian fast bowler is set to end a nine-year hiatus in a move that has taken the cricket world by storm.

Seen here, Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc.

Aussie cricket star Mitchell Starc has made the stunning announcement that he's set to end a nine-year hiatus by making himself available for the Indian Premier League (IPL). The veteran Aussie Test and ODI fast bowler has not played in India's lucrative domestic T20 tournament since 2015, when he last played for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The 33-year-old has prioritised his international duties and personal life by turning down the riches on offer in India for several years now. Starc is a proven performer in white-ball cricket and has been the leading wicket-taker at the past two T20 World Cups.

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The left-arm quick is also a handy lower order batter and would surely command a significant fee in the IPL auction. With Starc keen to once again lead Australia's pace attack at next year's T20 World Cup in the United States, he's announced that will put his hand up for the next auction and look to play in the IPL before the international T20 showpiece gets underway.

Pictured here, Mitchell Starc celebrating a wicket against England in a T20i match for Australia.
Mitchell Starc is seen here celebrating a wicket against England in a T20i match for Australia. Pic: Getty

"I'm definitely going back in (next) year," Starc told the Willow Talk cricket podcast. "Amongst other things, it's a great lead up to the T20 World Cup.

"So a good opportunity to see if anyone's interested in the IPL, then lead into the T20 World Cup. And it's somewhat of a quiet winter next year … in comparison to this winter, so I think a perfect opportunity to put my name in."

Mitchell Starc targets IPL return after jam-packed 2023

Starc's comments follow the busiest year on record for Australia's cricketers, with a home Test series against South Africa ending in January, followed by a tour of India, a World Test Championship final against the same opposition and an Ashes series in England. Starc is also part of the Aussie white-ball squad currently in South Africa preparing for the ODI World Cup, beginning in October in India.

The Aussies play five ODI matches against the Proteas, with the first match getting underway in Bloemfontein on Thursday night. They then have three games against India on the subcontinent, as well as warm-up matches against Netherlands and Pakistan, before their World Cup campaign kicks off with a first-up clash against the tournament hosts on October 8.

Starc will be joined in the IPL auction by a number of Aussie teammates, including all-rounders Cam Green and Mitch Marsh, as well as batting mainstay David Warner. Green became the most expensive Australian cricketer in IPL history when Mumbai Indians bought him for $3.15 million last December.

Warner and Marsh also featured in this year's IPL leading into the WTC final and five-Test Ashes series in England. Starc did admit that despite his eagerness to play in the IPL again, Test cricket remains his focus - even if the 33-year-old admits he's "closer to to the end" of his career.

"I'm not sort of one for setting numbers, goals or personal goals or what I want to achieve this year," the 82-match Test veteran said. "It took me a long time to feel like I was good enough Test cricket.

"So I want to really give that the biggest crack I've got. I've thoroughly enjoyed white-ball cricket and that's probably where I got my main opportunities in as well.

"Likewise, when I've had some time at the IPL I thoroughly enjoyed that challenge and I look forward to hopefully going back (next) year as well. I'd like to be good enough to get to 100 Tests. Not just get to 100, I'd like to be good enough to be picked for 100 Tests and then the big one obviously in a couple of weeks is the World Cup, which in India just goes to another level."

with AAP

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