Mitchell Starc is set to miss out on a handsome Indian Premier League (IPL) pay packet for the second year in a row after he was released by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
The 28-year-old was bought in last season’s auction by KKR for a whopping $1.8 million, but was forced to pull out of the tournament with a leg injury.
He revealed on Wednesday that the franchise’s owners sent him a text message on Monday to tell him he had been released from his contract.
Starc admitted that playing in the IPL would be a “lovely bonus” and refused to rule out the possibility of being picked up by another side. Although, the star quick can see the benefits of missing out – such as staying fresh for back-to-back World Cup and Ashes campaigns in mid-2019.
“I got a text message two days ago from the owners of Kolkata saying I’ve been released from my contract, so at the moment I’ll be home in April,” Starc told reporters at New South Wales training.
“I didn’t go last year with my tibia injury. It was a great opportunity to freshen the body up and let it heal by itself. Barring the little niggle in the hammy I feel pretty good with my body and my strength and the rest of it.
“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,” he said.
Starc was shifted from taking the new ball to first change in the opening ODI against South Africa, a gamble that was quickly backtracked upon by the captain Aaron Finch, but said he was quite prepared to alter his role in the national side if it meant better results over the next nine months up to and including the World Cup, which was won by Australia at home in 2015.
Starc stated, “At the moment for me, I just want to play as much Test cricket and one-day cricket for Australia as I can. IPL is a lovely bonus on the pay packet but if I miss that to play more Test matches then I’m taking that option.”