IPL Auction 2019: KKR Release Starc Via Text Message

The pacer’s participation had been in doubt, with the World Cup & the Ashes dominating Australia’s calendar in 2019.

Updated
Cricket
2 min read
File photo of Mitchell Starc. 
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Mitchell Starc is not going to be part of IPL 2019 – not unless he gets a new buyer at next month’s player auction, at least.

The Australian pacer has been released by Kolkata Knight Riders, a move confirmed by Starc to reporters in Sydney.

I got a text message two days ago from the owners of Kolkata saying I’ve been released from my contract. At the moment I’ll be home in April.  
Mitchell Starc

KKR’s decision ends a rather brief association even before it really began – after acquiring Starc for a fee of Rs. 9.40 crore at the 2018 auction, the team had to make do without his services as he sat out the last season due to injury.

“I obviously didn't go last year with my tibia injury and it was a great opportunity to freshen the body up, let everything heal by itself,” Starc said on Wednesday, 14 November.

“I guess barring a little niggle in my hammy I've felt pretty good with my body and my strength and the rest of it. That little period of time has really paid off for the body. If I don't play the IPL next year it's a good opportunity to freshen up for a massive six months of cricket in the UK.”

Starc has missed the last three editions of the IPL, last turning out for RCB in 2015
Starc has missed the last three editions of the IPL, last turning out for RCB in 2015
(Photo: Cricket Australia)

The last bit of the 28-year-old’s statement highlights an undertone which would suggest none of the parties involved – KKR, Australia, and Starc himself – can be too displeased about the move.

Australia, like other countries, will train all guns towards the 2019 World Cup, which is immediately followed by an Ashes summer, also in England. With the World Cup beginning on 30 May, and the IPL – as things stand – slated to end only on 19 May, workload management is going to be of high importance to all national boards.

With Australian cricket in a continued state of flux, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to think Cricket Australia would like its players to be well-rested for their WC title defense.

Participation clouds also exist over English cricketers for the 12th edition of the IPL, while Indian captain Virat Kohli, too, has expressed his desire for his fast bowlers to not be exhausted before departing for England.

Starc, for the time being, faces a lengthy spell of first-class cricket in Australia, with the selectors having opted to keep him out for the country’s upcoming T20Is against South Africa and India.

Despite fetching a big pay-day from KKR last year, Starc hasn’t actually featured in the IPL for three years now. The left-armer opted out of the 2016 edition citing fitness concerns, withdrew himself from the 2017 auction after having been released by RCB, and then nursed an injury through last season.

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