Australian speedster Mitchell Starc was expected to be the most coveted bowler during the player auction for the Indian Premier League 2021, but he has decided to withdraw from the tournament for the second year in a row. The decision to withdraw from last year’s tournament is understandable, but this time around it feels like the bowler and Australia missed a trick by not participating in the tournament.
From a sporting point of view, Australia would have liked one of their premier bowlers to be part of the tournament and get familiar with the conditions. Australian team would have benefitted from Starc getting used to subcontinent conditions since the 2021 T-20 World Cup is set to take place in India later this year.
Moreover, this auction could have yielded Starc a tremendous wage packet since many teams are looking for a premium overseas pace bowler. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab would have gone big for a pacer, while there was an outside chance that Mumbai Indians would have also spent big on a fast bowler after releasing James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Fatigue issue could have been understandable, but Starc is likely to get an ample amount of rest before IPL. Australia has already called off the tour of South Africa due to health reasons, while Starc is not included in the squad that will be playing T-20 games against New Zealand later this month.
Personal reasons could be the plausible reasons for Starc from backing out from the tournament. However, it feels like a missed opportunity for the speedster from a financial and sporting point of view. Australia will be hoping that his decision to skip IPL pays dividends later this year when they host England for Ashes and T-20 World Cup in India.