Melbourne, April 1:
Australia’s World Cup player of the tournament Mitchell Starc will miss the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a minor knee injury.
Starc, who plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), captured 22 wickets in the World Cup. But a left knee niggle will keep the lethal left-arm pacer grounded for two-three weeks in Australia, reports cricket.com.au.
“Mitchell had some knee soreness during the latter stages of the World Cup,” Australia team physio Alex Kountouris said on Wednesday.
“He will have a short period off to rest and recover, before being reassessed by CA medical staff. We estimate his recovery time will be between two-three weeks.”
The injury layoff will make the 24-year-old unavailable for the RCB in the opening stages of the cash rich tournament.
Sold to RCB for Rs.5 crore last year, Starc will join international superstars Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli in red, gold and blue.
Starc’s incredible performance in Australia’s World Cup triumph saw him assume the No.1 ranked one-day international bowler mantle for the first time in his career.
Starc was also awarded a lucrative Cricket Australia contract on Tuesday and named in the Test tours to the West Indies and England for the Ashes.
The final of the IPL will be held on May 24, just five days before Australia’s first and only tour match in the lead up to the first Test against the West Indies on June 5 in Dominica.
Should the second Test in Jamaica go the distance, the Test squad will have only eight days to acclimatise to English conditions before their first tour match against Kent takes place in Canterbury on 25 July.
Starc was on the last Ashes tour to England in 2013, playing in three Tests without recording consecutive appearances. But allrounder Shane Watson says Starc’s epic performance in the World Cup is close to transitioning to red ball cricket.
“It’s incredible to see how well he has bowled in this tournament against the best batsmen in the world,” said Watson.
“It will be incredible to see him also do that in Test cricket, because that’s very close. “His confidence changed and he made a couple of adjustments in that Sydney Test match and he bowled beautifully.” (IANS)