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Mitchell Starc flies to Australia for Women's T20 World Cup final

‘once-in-a-lifetime chance’ for pacer to watch wife alyssa play

TT Bureau Calcutta Published 06.03.20, 09:25 PM
Mitchell Starc with wife Alyssa Healy

Mitchell Starc with wife Alyssa Healy (Picture: Twitter/@ahealy77)

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc will miss the final ODI against South Africa to watch wife Alyssa Healy play the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup final against India at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

The four-time champions home team would be aiming to defend the title against the first-time finalists.


According to Cricket Australia website, Starc will fly out of Johannesburg in the early hours of Saturday morning and arrive in Melbourne on Saturday evening ahead of Sunday’s final.

A record crowd of 90,000 people is expected for the match at the MCG, just as there was when Starc guided Australia to the one-day World Cup title in 2015.

Having discussed the prospect with team management on the recent tour of India, Starc was given their full support to return home early, with coach Justin Langer not wanting to deny his player “a once-in-a-lifetime chance” to watch his wife play in a World Cup final on home soil.

“They were extremely supportive ... so I’m very appreciative for that and very grateful that I can go back and support Alyssa, much like she was around for our 2015 World Cup win,” he said.

“That was very special for all the boys to have their families involved so it’s a fantastic opportunity to repay that.

“They’ve definitely captured the support around Australia and overseas as well and hopefully there’s a massive crowd in Melbourne on Sunday.”

Starc live streamed Australia’s nail-biting semi-final win on his phone during the men’s team’s bus trip from Bloemfontein to Potchefstroom on Thursday, negotiating patchy coverage on the five-hour journey.

And while the left-armer obviously had a vested interest in the Aussie women getting over the line, his teammates were on the edge of their seats as well.

“I get more nervous watching Alyssa play ... than I do playing,” he said. “There wasn’t too much Internet coverage for some of that five-hour bus trip. It got to the pointy end and a few guys had phones dropping out so there a few crowded around different phones watching the game.

“It was pretty tense. We were obviously keeping an eye on the (weather) radar, it didn’t look great, but it managed to keep the rain away.

“It was a pretty intense game but by all reports, the girls seemed pretty calm. That’s what Alyssa said anyway. It was probably more stressful on our bus.”

Healy has clear bragging rights over her husband when it comes to World Cup wins, having been part of five triumphs already, with Starc cheering on his wife from the stands for her victories in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The fast bowler said he didn’t have any specific advice for the Aussie women about how to handle the pressure of playing in front of a jam-packed MCG, but urged them to continue embracing the unprecedented support and media coverage they’ve enjoyed in this tournament so far.

“They’re under no illusion how special it is to play in a home World Cup and they’ve worked so hard to get to the final,” he said.

“They’ve come through a few hiccups along the way and they’ve played some really good cricket and captured the attention of everyone around the cricketing world.”

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