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‘More Important Than IPL Money’: Mitchell Starc On Playing Tests For Australia

One of the finest pacers of the current generation, Mitchell Starc keeps away from the franchise cricket, including the IPL, despite the handsome money on offer as he wants to be at his “best” playing for Australia. For Starc, playing Test cricket for Australia is paramount, a path he hopes many youngsters will follow in future. Several colleagues of Starc have appeared in various T20 leagues across the globe such as Indian Premier League (IPL), Big Bash, but the left-arm pacer has managed to stay away from the lure.

“I enjoyed it (IPL), likewise I enjoyed my time at Yorkshire 10 years ago, but Australia will always sit at the top. I don’t regret any of it, money will come and go but I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had,” Starc told ‘The Guardian’.

“Over a hundred years of Test cricket and there’s been less than 500 men who have played it for Australia, that in itself makes it very special to be a part of it.

“The traditionalist in me still hopes there is a generation of boys and girls who want to represent their country in Test cricket. But the easy money is in franchise cricket, it’s the fast track to notoriety,” he added.

The 33-year-old, who last played franchise cricket back in 2015 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, is clear in his mind that Test cricket will remain his priority for the foreseeable future.

“I’d certainly love to play in the IPL again, but my goal for a long time has been to be at my best for Australia, no matter the format,” Starc asserted.

Australia defeated India by 209 runs to lift their maiden World Test Championship mace on the Sunday. The men from Down Under now have all ICC titles, having already won the ODI and T20 World Cups and the Champions Trophy.

“There’s nothing I love more in cricket than to sit back with my teammates at the end of a Test win and reflect on the success we’ve had that week. To be able to pull on the baggy green with a lot of my close mates, guys I’ve grown up in the game with,” Starc said.

“Franchise cricket is great, but you can be bought or sold or traded in 12 months, whereas this is an opportunity (Playing Tests) that I’ve been fortunate enough to have over 10 years now…To be able to pull on the baggy green with a lot of my close mates, guys I’ve grown up in the game with.” Starc lauded England for changing the landscape of Test cricket while playing the ‘Bazball’ under coach Brendon McCullum and skipper Ben Stokes but wondered whether they would be able to pull it off against a quality bowling unit like Australia in the Ashes.

“If we have traditional English pitches, which nip around, and if the overhead conditions play a part, will they still be so aggressive with the Ashes on the line? I guess we’ll find it out,” said Starc.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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