Starc flags end to IPL exile, will nominate for 2024 auction

Star Australia quick Mitchell Starc says he will put himself forward for next year's Indian Premier League as he plans to end an eight-year hiatus from T20 league

Mitchell Starc's eight-year absence from the Indian Premier League is set to end with the veteran Australian quick flagging his intention to nominate for the lucrative T20 tournament.

The star left-armer is estimated to have missed a potential $10m-plus in personal earnings by not participating in the tournament since 2015, through a combination of injuries and prioritising international duties and time with his family.

But Starc has confirmed he will put his hand up for the auction and look to play in the IPL ahead of next year's T20 World Cup in the United States.

"I'm definitely going back in (next) year," Starc told the Willow Talk cricket podcast.

"Amongst other things, it's a great lead up to the T20 World Cup.

"So a good opportunity to see if anyone's interested in the IPL, then lead into the T20 World Cup.

"And it's somewhat of a quiet winter next year … in comparison to this winter, so I think a perfect opportunity to put my name in."

IPL's most expensive Australian buys

  • Cameron Green: A$3.15m (17.5 crore) Mumbai Indians, 2022
  • Pat Cummins: A$3.16m (15.5 crore) Kolkata Knight Riders, 2020
  • Glenn Maxwell: A$2.52m (14.25 crore) RCB, 2021
  • Jhye Richardson: AA$2.48m (14 crore) Punjab Kings, 2021
  • Steve Smith: A$2.3m (12 crore) Rajasthan Royals 2018
  • David Warner: A$2.3m (12 crore) Sunrisers Hyderabad. 2018
    *AUD conversions correct at time of auction

Having been picked up in the 2014 auction for A$888,000 by Royal Challengers Bangalore, the left-armer played two seasons for RCB before missing the 2016 tournament due to injury.

He chose to not enter the 2017 auction, which saw English left-armer Tymal Mills purchased for an eye-watering fee of A$2.3 million (Starc ultimately would have missed the tournament anyway due to injury).

Having been bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders for A$1.8m in 2018, Starc again missed out due injury, which sparked a protracted legal battle with an insurance firm that was finally settled in 2020.

Mitch Starc has 34 wickets from 27 career IPL games at 20.38 and an economy of 7.17 // Sportzpics/IPL

He joined most of Australia's players in skipping the 2019 tournament ahead of that year's ODI World Cup in England, and in 2020 Starc again chose to not participate despite attracting interest from several franchises.

That year, fast-bowling colleague Pat Cummins was purchased for a record fee of A$3.17m (INR15.5 crore).

He has opted out of putting his name forward for the auction for the past three tournaments but did concede previously he "was a click of the button away" from entering again, but ultimately an April-May at home with wife Alyssa Healy, who has her own increasingly hectic cricket calendar, proved too much of a lure.

With 2023 being the busiest year for an Australian cricket team on record – the tour of India, World Test Championship final, an Ashes series in England and the ODI World Cup in India between the home summers – Starc won't be the only player entering the IPL auction.

Towering allrounder Cameron Green become the most expensive Australian cricketer in IPL history in terms of local currency spent when Mumbai Indians bought him for $3.15 million (INR 17.5 crore) last December.

Australian white-ball mainstays David Warner and Mitch Marsh also featured in this year's IPL leading into the WTC final and five-Test Ashes series in England.

Meanwhile, Starc has reaffirmed his desire to reach the 100-Test milestone, conceding he was "closer to the end" of his career, having played 82 Tests since his debut in December 2011.

"To choose not to do certain things to prolong playing for Australia, I've tried to be smart about that," Starc told cricket.com.au ahead of this year's Ashes series.

"Yeah, the money's nice, but I'd love to play 100 Test matches. Whether I get there or not, I don't know, but that would be a nice one to tick off. Hopefully there's a little bit left in me."

Starc, now 33, elaborated that he was "not one for setting numbers, goals or personal goals or what I want to achieve this year".

"It took me a long time to feel like I was good enough Test cricket," he said.

"So I want to really give that the biggest crack I've got.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed white-ball cricket and that's probably where I got my main opportunities in as well.

"I'd like to be good enough to get to 100 Tests. Not just get to 100, I'd like to be good enough to be picked for 100 Tests.

And then the big one obviously in a couple of weeks is the World Cup, which in India just goes to another level."

According to Australia's future tours program, Starc, who has played 82 Tests, could reach the 100-Test milestone during the 2025-26 home Ashes series at the earliest.