Mitchell Starc in unique $50,000 deal with Sydney Sixers after Steve Smith fiasco

The left-arm bowler has signed a deal in this year's Big Bash League.

Mitchell Starc celebrates with Pat Cummins and Steve Smith reacts.
Mitchell Starc (pictured middle) has signed to work with the Sydney Sixers on a marquee list in the Big Bash League after the fiasco involving Steve Smith (pictured right) a few years ago. (Getty Images)

Mitchell Starc has signed with the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League this summer, but is unlikely to play despite a $50,000 fee. Starc hasn't played in the tournament since the 2014-15 season and is still participating in all three formats for Australia at international level.

However, the Sixers have made the huge call to sign Starc as a bowling coach as the summer approaches. Starc rejoins the Sixers on the tournament's marquee supplementary list system. After the Steve Smith fiasco a few years ago, the move was brought in to make sure high-profile players can take part in the competition even if they are not part of the squad for the majority of the campaign.

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It allows international players to link with a team and if they become available for whatever reason, they can play. The marquee move comes after there was plenty of criticism when Australia's top drawcards were often overlooked in the Big Bash because of previous contracts.

Earlier this year, Cricket Australia put an end to to the drama and allowed players to sign a contract with a franchise. In the 2021/22 season, Smith became available to play in the finals for the Sixers after a cancelled one-day international series.

However, he wasn't able to play because he wasn't under contract with the Sixers. This was put to an end in 2023 with teams allowed to sign marquee players in case they become available. BBL general manager Alistair Dobson said the new supplementary list adds another dimension to the competition.

"Clubs and players alike have looked at the new mechanisms we've built into the contracting rules and have taken advantage of that," Dobson said. "I'm really excited about the players that are in the comp this year. It's shaping really well."

Mitchell Starc celebrates.
Mitchell Starc (pictured) will most likely not play for the Sixers, but will help as a bowling coach in the summer. (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images) (SAJJAD HUSSAIN via Getty Images)

Mitchell Starc guaranteed $50,000 in Big Bash contract

Starc is guaranteed a flat $50,000 fee even if he does not play and would receive additional $30,000 match payments for any appearance he makes. Australia's 'big-three' fast-bowlers - Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood - have not been seen in the BBL in recent years, prioritising international duty amid a hectic schedule.

Starc hasn't played in the competition his summer's condensed BBL schedule runs in tandem with the Test program, meaning the three quicks again appear unlikely to feature. But Test teammates including Smith, Nathan Lyon, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja are all set to make cameo appearances.

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