Mitchell Starc opens up on staggering family decision that cost him $10 million

The Aussie cricket star turned his back on the riches of the IPL to spend more time at home with wife Alyssa Healy.

Mitchell Starc and wife Alyssa Healy.
Mitchell Starc sacrificed an estimated $10 million to spend more time with family and focus on Test cricket. Image: Getty

Mitchell Starc has revealed he has no regrets about his eight-year absence from the Indian Premier League, despite the fact it has cost him around $10 million. The Aussie cricket star earned a whopping $4.4 million contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders at the IPL auction last week - a huge reward for putting Test cricket and family first.

Starc hasn't played in the lucrative T20 competition since 2015, turning his back on the riches of franchise cricket to focus on his country and spend more time with his family - including wife Alyssa Healy. With Healy also a professional cricketer, the IPL window presents the perfect two-month period for Starc to be at home with his wife as they're both usually not playing.

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But with the T20 World Cup set to take place just after the IPL next year, Starc has been encouraged by Cricket Australia to end his eight-year hiatus. The decision not to play IPL has seen him miss out on an estimated $15 million, and with the $4.4m contract for 2024 he's still down about $10m.

But discussing the situation over the weekend, the 33-year-old said he has no regrets. "Juggling one cricket schedule is hard enough, let alone when there's two in a relationship," he said ahead of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG. "So I've always spent that time away from cricket with Alyssa or time with family and recharging my body for being as fit and as ready as I can for Australian cricket.

"I don't regret any of it. I think it's certainly helped my Test cricket. The money is always nice and certainly was this year but I've always prioritised international cricket and I think that's helped my game."

Mitchell Starc and Alyssa Healy in 2022.
Mitchell Starc and Alyssa Healy at the women's Cricket World Cup in 2022. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

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Starc revealed last week that it was actually Healy who informed him they were $4.4m richer. Healy was in India at the time preparing to lead Australia in the women's cricket Test in Mumbai, and received the news a a little earlier than her husband.

“I’m not sure any words would do it justice, really,“ he said in an interview with Star Sports. “Alyssa was over there with the Australian team at the minute, so her coverage was slightly ahead of mine here in Australia. So she sort of saw the numbers before I did, so I was getting the updates through her.

"But, yeah, a fair bit of shock, and certainly excitement with how it was all unfolding. But nothing that I could’ve ever imagined."

Starc will play his 84th Test on Boxing Day, having taken 338 wickets at an average of 27.49 throughout his career. His decision to focus on country rather than money has helped him forge a formidable bowling attack alongside Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon.

"We look back at the Ashes and having six Tests in eight weeks was something that doesn't happen all the time," he said. "But the way we're all feeling at the minute we're ready to go. There were a few issues there after the Ashes that we didn't know until we got home and sort of managed them pretty well through the World Cup."

with AAP

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