The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) made a surprise announcement over the weekend and confirmed that it had decided to pull fast bowler Mitchell Starc out of the 2017 IPL due to the fact that the bowler has had an enormous workload over the Australian summer and will be a key member of the four match test series against the Indians which starts on February 23.
The announcement will come as a blow to the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) where Starc is a key member and the leader of the pace attack. Mitchell Starc is the leader of the Australian test and ODI attack and has sent down a considerable amount of overs during the Australian summer along with Josh Hazelwood. Starc also had to take a few months off in 2016 due to injury concerns and the ACB wants to make sure that they protect Starc from burning himself out.
In a statement, Starc said “At this point in time after a long summer and with a big tour of India still ahead I think it is in my best interests, both physically and mentally, for me to have a break, spend time with my family and take the opportunity to work on getting back to full fitness”.
RCB bought Starc back in 2014 but were able to play him in only two editions of the league so far. Starc missed the 2016 IPL as he was out with a foot injury and RCB were looking forward to having him lead the attack in 2017 as he is considered one of the best death bowlers and has arguably the best yorker amongst all current fast-bowlers. Starc represented RCB in 2015 and was one of the most economical bowlers in the tournament, finishing with an economy rate of 6.76 and 20 wickets at an average of 14.55 each.
Starc will finish the four match test series and then head back home to go through a period of strength training and rehabilitation according to the ACB. While the non-availability of Starc is not the best news for the RCB, they will look to see the positives in Starc’s withdrawal. RCB will now be able to pick up two overseas players in the IPL auction and will have a purse of around 17.8 crore rupees to go after they players they want. RCB will most likely look for a like for like replacement as the current side does not have any genuine quick bowlers.