Starc loses $1.8m IPL shot in brutal injury blow

Mitchell Starc has suffered a costly leg injury on the eve of the Indian Premier League, with Australia's spearhead to miss out on a $1.8 million contract.

Starc was ruled out of Australia's fourth Test against South Africa because of tibial bone stress, which will prevent him taking part in India's lucrative Twenty20 tournament starting next week.

The left-armer, who will return home for further assessment after the Test in Johannesburg, could be set for another long stint on the sidelines depending on how serious the right-leg injury is.

It's common for the complaint to initially present as calf pain.

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Starc was in doubt for the third Test because of a sore calf, having been clearly bothered by the same issue during the final innings of the second Test.

Selectors and medicos cleared the express paceman to play in Cape Town, recognising his reverse swing could be the difference between series defeat and victory.

Starc bowled briefly in the nets on Thursday but wasn't able to prove his fitness.

Mitchell Starc. Pic: Getty

It's been a tough week for the 28-year-old, who felt let down by the actions of former leaders Steve Smith and David Warner in the cheating scandal.

Starc is regarded as one of the best white-ball bowlers in the world but has skipped the previous two IPL tournaments in a bid to manage his workload.

The international calendar has an usually long break this year, which prompted him to enter the 2018 IPL auction.

Kolkata Knight Riders won the bidding frenzy.

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The cashed-up T20 tournament falls in players' leave period, providing a near-constant source of frustration for Cricket Australia.

During last year's pay dispute, CA attempted to sign Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and David Warner on individual contracts that would preclude them playing in the IPL.

Starc missed last year's Boxing Day Test because of a bruised heel and he was also bothered by a stress fracture in his landing foot during 2017.

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