‘Helped my Test career’: Starc’s got no regrets over missing millions from turning back on IPL
Mitchell Starc insists he has no regrets about missing the IPL for the best part of a decade after selling at auction for a record $4.42 million on return to the Twenty20 franchise league.
Fellow Australian quick Pat Cummins looked like he’d finish Tuesday night’s auction (AEDT) as the biggest winner when Sunrisers Hyderabad bought him for a then-record $3.67 million.
But a bidding war between the Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Gujarat Titans drove Starc’s price up to 24.75 crore – the highest fee paid for a player at any IPL auction.
The explosive left-armer had opted to miss the Twenty20 league to focus on his Australian commitments since the 2015 tournament, when he played for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Starc, who had a previous IPL comeback thwarted by injury in 2018, indicated his desire to return to the lucrative tournament ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup
But the paceman insisted the big-money deal had not left him wondering what could have been had he nominated for the auction in previous years.
“I made some choices, which I don’t regret at all,” he told the Willow Talk cricket podcast.
“I think it’s probably helped my Test career, so I’m very happy with how it’s all gone.
“Very grateful to have some interest in the auction and excited, thrilled, surprised. There’s plenty of words you can describe the night.”
The IPL auction makes for nervous viewing for players, with superstar Australians Steve Smith and Josh Hazlewood among those overlooked on Tuesday night.
Starc admitted he was worried about his prospects in the lead-up to Tuesday, and had decided not to watch the coverage.
But as the night wore on and rain poured down in Sydney, he found himself reaching for the television remote.
“Being the fourth group, the night was prolonged and I cooked dinner and it was on the TV and then the storm blew in,” the 33-year-old said.
“So I didn’t walk the dogs, which I planned to do while it was on. I ended up watching it all.”
Alyssa Healy, Australian captain and Starc’s wife, was messaging him updates from Mumbai, where she is preparing for the national women’s side’s multi-format series against India.
“I was in the gym trying to do a gym session while the IPL auction was on the TV,” Healy said.
“It was quite a distraction for our whole group, but an amazing night for him and obviously justification for a lot of years of hard work.”
Starc now shifts focus to the second Test against Pakistan in Melbourne, where Australia can secure a series victory from Boxing Day.
He bowled below his best in the first innings of last week’s 360-run win in Perth, but was dominant in the second as Australia rolled the tourists for 89 runs.
“There were little things we can still iron out, but I think it was a pretty well-rounded performance for the first Test of the summer,” Starc said.