Australia's pace spearhead Mitchell Starc is likely to make his much-awaited return to the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2024 in a bid to prepare himself well for the T20 World Cup to be played in the West Indies and the USA in June. Starc's last appearance in the cash-rich league came in 2015 while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) under the leadership of Virat Kohli.
The left-arm pacer has featured in 27 IPL games thus far and picked up 34 wickets at an economy rate of 7.17, including a four-wicket haul (4/15). He played 14 games during the 2014 season and came back in 2015 to represent RCB in 13 matches. In 2018, he was expected to play for Kolkata Knight Riders but was forced to withdraw due to an injury. On other occasions, the tall pacer has prioritised national duty over a lucrative IPL deal.
However, with the T20 World Cup to be played in June next year, playing in the IPL can serve as the ideal preparation for the marquee tournament and hence Starc seems interested in playing the 17th edition of the IPL.
"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," Starc told the Willow Talk Cricket Podcast.
"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 a perfect opportunity to put my name in," he added.
Starc doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon and has ambitions of not only playing 100 Test matches for Australia but also seems determined to play ODI cricket as long as possible. However, he is also wary of the fact that Australia have some quality pacers coming through the ranks and it can spice things up as far as competition for places in the team is concerned.
The New South Wales-born has played 82 Tests and looks set to scale the milestone of playing 100 matches in the longest format of the sport.
"Not just get to 100, I'd like to be good enough to be picked for 100 Tests," he said. "And then the big one obviously in a couple of weeks is the World Cup, which in India just goes to another level.
"And then you look at the one-day format, it's sort of four years in between World Cups, so where do I see myself in that mix? But I've got to get to the end of this World Cup first.
"But we've got some superstars coming through. You've got your Jhye Richardsons, your Sean Abbotts, your Spencer Johnsons. You've got plenty of young guys coming through. [Lance] Morris is going to be a gun.
"I try not to look too far ahead with anything. Obviously, we want to do well in the World Cup. Then we've got five Test matches here in Australia and then I haven't actually played a Test in New Zealand, so hopefully I'm on that tour and look forward to that challenge as well," Starc mentioned.