Mitchell Starc returns to Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2024?
Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc is planning a return to the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2024, marking his first appearance in the tournament since 2015. Starc views this as an ideal opportunity to prepare for the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in the West Indies and the USA in June.
Starc, who has previously represented the Royal Challengers Bangalore, has a total of 27 IPL appearances from two seasons. In 2018, he was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders but had to withdraw due to injury. Over the years, Starc has contemplated an IPL comeback but often prioritized spending time at home, given Australia’s demanding multi-format cricket schedule.
However, the upcoming cricket calendar for Australia in 2024 is relatively lighter, featuring only the T20 World Cup, a tour of New Zealand in March, and white-ball series against Afghanistan, Ireland, and England from late August.
Starc shared his IPL ambitions on the Willow Talk Cricket Podcast, stating, “Look, it’s been eight years. I’m definitely going back in [next] year. 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 it’s a perfect opportunity to put my name in.”
One of the key reasons for Starc’s previous reluctance to participate in the IPL was his commitment to being fully available for Test cricket. He has expressed his desire to reach 100 Test appearances, a milestone currently achieved only by Glenn McGrath among Australian fast bowlers.
Presently, Starc has played 82 Tests, and if he features in all of Australia’s upcoming fixtures per the Future Tours Programme, his 100th Test match would occur during the 2025-26 Ashes series. Starc shared his ambition, stating, “Not just to get to 100, I’d like to be good enough to be picked for 100 Tests.”
Starc also emphasized the significance of the upcoming T20 World Cup in India, a tournament that takes the game to another level in the subcontinent. He recognized the challenges of managing his career in the one-day format, which features World Cups every four years, and expressed optimism about the emerging talent in Australian cricket, mentioning players like Jhye Richardson, Sean Abbott, and Lance Morris.
Starc adopts a pragmatic approach, refraining from looking too far ahead, and remains focused on the upcoming World Cup and Test matches in Australia. He also expressed his anticipation for the possibility of playing Test cricket in New Zealand, acknowledging the unique challenges and opportunities that await.
Mitchell Starc is set to make his IPL return in 2024, driven by the desire to prepare for the T20 World Cup. He recognizes the importance of managing his career, especially in the context of Test cricket, while remaining optimistic about the emerging talent in Australian cricket. Starc’s pragmatic approach ensures he remains focused on the immediate challenges ahead while leaving room for future aspirations.