Australia first for in-form quick

Mitchell Starc will miss the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament to stay freshen up for Australia.
Mitchell Starc will miss the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament to stay freshen up for Australia.

Australian quick Mitchell Starc insists his decision to knock back a lucrative IPL stint was an easy one, with the left-armer looking to freshen up for the five-Test Ashes series.

Starc has become hot property in world cricket thanks to great efforts not just with the ball but some swashbuckling displays with the bat and it's believed he could have earned up to $1 million if he entered the IPL auction.

The NSW speedster was asked yesterday if it was a tough call not joining the rich tournament.

"Not at all, really. I thought about it for a while and spoke to people close to me," Starc said.

"I made the decision not to go last year and instead went to England to work on my game. For me, my main objective is to play as much cricket as I can for Australia and that's not in the IPL.

"I feel that the six weeks I can get ... I can have a bit of time off and refresh mentally and physically and get a bit of time in the gym and then be ready to go for hopefully the tour of England."

The seven-week IPL starts on April 3, which is just one week after the fourth Test against India in Delhi.

And the final of the IPL on May 26 comes 13 days prior to Australia kicking off their pre-Ashes campaign in England at the ICC Champions Trophy, with the first Test of the Ashes at Trent Bridge starting on July 10.

Australian captain Michael Clarke is reportedly set to cash in and play in the IPL and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade confirmed he hoped to play in the Twenty20 tournament too.

"I'm in the IPL auction so if I get picked up there I'll be playing," Wade said.

"It's a big 12 months, we understand that, and if there's any kind of niggles to myself going into the IPL I wouldn't play the IPL.

"I'd be getting myself right to play in the Ashes and get myself ready for the Champions Trophy but if I'm fresh and ready to go I'll play [IPL]."

Starc said playing in the IPL was a personal choice and he can understand where the likes of Clarke and Wade are coming from.

"Some batsman, they might like to continue hitting balls through that period," he said.

"For someone like myself, I've been lucky enough to be on the park for 18 months pretty much. I've played a lot of cricket.

"For me, the best option was to have a bit of time off and get strong in the gym through that time and be ready to go in England."

The Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka starts in Sydney tomorrow, before the team heads to the MCG two days later. AAP


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