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Mitchell Starc eyes a pink summer

Speedster keeps options open for role in IPL
Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc

Agencies   |   Melbourne   |   Published 26.05.20, 09:48 PM

Australia paceman Mitchell Starc has never been a huge fan of the pink ball, but would welcome the prospect of bowling it against India in a day-night Test over the home summer.

India declined Australia’s offer to play a day-night Test during their last tour in 2018/19, but Board president Sourav Ganguly said in February they had agreed to one in the upcoming four-Test series.


“I absolutely think a pink ball Test in this series against India would be a great thing. From the little bits I’ve seen and heard, India are very much open to that as well, so that’s fantastic,” left-armer Starc told reporters in a video call on Tuesday.

“The fans love it, it creates a different aspect of the contest. I think bat and ball are a lot closer together.

“India have obviously played a pink ball Test at home, so they’re not completely foreign to it.

“I guess in terms of the advantage if you like, we do have a good record at home with the pink ball.

“It’s no different to us going to India and they’ve got the advantage there.”

Australia, the pioneers of pink ball cricket, featured in the first ever day-night Test against New Zealand back in 2015. They remain undefeated after playing in seven games.

On the other hand, India played their maiden day-night Test against Bangladesh last November at the Eden Gardens, winning the match quite comfortably with plenty of time to spare.

Starc’s prowess with the pink ball has been key to Australia’s dominance.

Though wary of it encroaching on traditional red-ball day Tests, Starc has taken 42 wickets at an average of 19.23 with the pink ball against an average of 26.97 in all Tests.

Starc also said he wouldn’t mind if Cricket Australia allows some of its biggest players to miss the early part of the country’s domestic season to play in a rescheduled Indian Premier League (IPL).

“Do I have an issue with it? I don’t think so. They’re pre-existing contracts. There’s a lot of things that would have to go into that I assume...

“Cricket Australia would have to clear those guys… So if they’re clear to go, I don’t see a problem with it,” he said.

“They’re pre-existing contracts and they would have been playing anyway. There’s obviously a different hurdle of domestic cricket there. It’d be an interesting decision, not one I’d have to make, so I’ll let them make their decisions,” he added.

The left-arm pacer added that if a change of schedule allows, he could reconsider playing in the IPL. Starc had earlier opted out of the 13th IPL.

“I’d consider it, I’d think about it. Obviously it’d be right at the start of our domestic season as well, so it’d be a fair bit to consider. But I don’t currently have a contract, so I currently don’t have to worry.”

The 30-year-old said he was concerned the International Cricket Council’s recommendation to ban the use of saliva to shine the ball when the sport returns after the coronavirus shutdown would hand batsmen a big advantage.

“We don’t want to lose that or make it less even, so there needs to be something in place to keep that ball swinging,” Starc said.

“Otherwise people aren’t going to be watching it and kids aren’t going to want to be bowlers,” he added.

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