Mitchell Starc (Image Credits: Twitter)
Mitchell Starc (Image Credits: Twitter)

As discussions over future player availability loom, Mitchell Starc has become the first Australian athlete to state he won’t participate in the Big Bash League this summer. 

Because Cricket Australia is so keen to have as many top-tier talent playing frequently as possible, this summer is shaping up to be vital for the competition following the Covid-19 epidemic. 

Given that January’s one-day series against South Africa is anticipated to be cancelled, Australia’s multi-format stars should be available for a significant portion of it. 

My Approach With Franchise Cricket Not Changed: Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc (Image Credits: Twitter)
Mitchell Starc (Image Credits: Twitter)

However, Starc’s position will not change because he does not anticipate playing any time soon. The 32-year-old speedster last appeared for the Sydney Sixers in 2014–15, and since then, he has forfeited over $10 million in potential earnings. 

“I have always enjoyed the BBL when I have played it … but my approach with all franchise cricket hasn’t changed over the last seven years,” Starc told AAP in Galle. 

“My approach to the IPL, BBL, I have looked at the Australian schedule and wanting to be as fit and well-performed for that as I can. 

“And franchise cricket has taken a back seat.” 

The appointment of Mitchell Starc coincides with a busy international calendar. Australia will play white-ball series against Zimbabwe, New Zealand, India, England, and the West Indies after its current tour of Sri Lanka, in addition to hosting the T20 World Cup at home. 

National Duty Priority For Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc. Image: Cricket Australia

The BBL window is followed by tests against South Africa and the West Indies, while the calendar for the following year includes a trip of India, an away Ashes series, and a 50-over World Cup. 

“The schedule in the next 18 months is ridiculous,” Starc said. 

“I will always keep Australian cricket front of mind, and then franchise cricket (second). 

“I also like spending time at home and seeing my wife (Alyssa Healy, who is also often away).” 

New Contracts May Bound Players To Play When Available

However, in the next years, Mitchell Starc and others’ resistance can be contested. 

There will be pressure during the next salary discussions for players to sign contracts with clubs and play when healthy or on duty for Australia. 

The existing Memorandum of Understanding expires in the middle of 2023, so if a mechanism is decided upon, it may be in place by the summer of 2024. 

It happens in the midst of complaints over the calibre of the competition, and CA is getting ready to defend the league in federal court as the Seven Network tries to renege on its broadcast agreement. 

Usman Khawaja (Image Credit: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)
Usman Khawaja (Image Credit: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images))

Currently, all of the players with contracts for this summer are Usman Khawaja (Brisbane Heat), Mitchell Swepson (Brisbane Heat), Nathan Lyon (Sixers), and Alex Carey (Adelaide Strikers). Travis Head has played for Adelaide for a long time, and Marnus Labuschagne is most likely to re-sign with Brisbane. 

Steven Smith, who was relieved that there is a push for teams to allow Australian players into squads after being kept out last summer, will probably also play. Josh Hazlewood recently competed for the Sixers in 2019–20, while Pat Cummins and David Warner had long been absent while Cameron Green sat out last year. 

With Faf du Plessis last week, CA lured their first big fish in the league and are hopeful that the overseas player draught will have a similar effect. 

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