Former Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer Michael Starc has explained the reasoning behind his IPL 2022 mega auction exit, saying that he did not want to waste his time quarantining.
“I was a click of the button away from entering the auction but personally didn’t want to spend 22 more weeks in a bubble,” said Starc as quoted by ESPN. “They’ll be a time where I’d love to go back to the IPL but in terms of wanting to play as much as I can for Australia, that’s a decision I’ve done for a while.
Starc recently won Australia’s men’s cricketer of the year award. Back in India, however, he had played only in two IPL seasons, in which he recorded 37 wickets in 27 matches. He was signed to a Rs 9.4 crore contract by Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018 but an injury suffered on the South Africa tour a few weeks before the start of the IPL season force him to forfeit.
Starc's performance overshadowed by father's passing
The 32-year-old Starc said after winning the award on Saturday that he had been wanting to quit for quite some time. For someone at his level, he had failed to take the number of wickets expected while also leaking countless runs on the field. Starc said he could not perform as he used to be after his father's loss to cancer back at home.
“Obviously last year was particularly tough on and off the field,” Starc said after winning the highest individual award in Australian men’s cricket, the Allan Border Medal. Despite managing to play cricket, Starc's performance during the 2020-21 Test series at home against India was sub-par.
“I probably didn’t play the cricket I wanted to and, at certain stages, I probably didn’t want to play cricket at all,” Starc said about the days after his father's death.
The Australian pacer received heavy criticisms following his 11 wickets at 40.72 in the series against India. He was also under fire for his ICC T20 World Cup performance in the UAE. The pacer conceded 60 runs without taking a wicket in his four overs in the final.
Starc staying away from social media
Starc explained that he had been distancing himself from social media, which apparently helped him to focus on receiving good feedback.
"I made a conscious effort to get off all the social media and whatnot a couple of years ago," Starc said. "I used to be someone who looked at it all and took it on board, and almost looked it at like 'you can say that but I’ll stick it up ya with my performance'.
"Then I ended up getting off it and yeah, haven’t really taken any notice over the last couple of years which has been a nice change."
Starc said his family and friends had been his main support system.
"I guess with the people around me, my wife (Alyssa Healy) plays in the Australian team, and I’ve got a couple of my best mates that play in my team.
"So I’ve got great people around me to chat to and they’ll give you their honest opinions and I respect that as well. So I don’t need to listen to any outside noise when I’ve got that around me.”