Mitchell Starc flags reducing his Australia role across formats as he criticises schedule

Mitchell Starc was in outstanding form for Australia on Saturday (Mark Baker/AP) (AP)
Mitchell Starc was in outstanding form for Australia on Saturday (Mark Baker/AP) (AP)

Mitchell Starc does not envisage continuing to juggle all three formats long-term as the Australia left-arm quick became the latest high-profile star to criticise cricket’s bloated schedule.

England all-rounder Moeen Ali branded the timing of an ODI series against Australia as “horrible”, with the first of three matches taking place four days after Jos Buttler’s side’s T20 World Cup triumph.

The tourists slipped 2-0 down at Sydney on Saturday as Starc collected four for 47 in a 72-run win for Australia, who have bounced back well following an ignominious group stage exit at the World Cup.

But Starc was singing off the same hymn sheet as Moeen when it came to the fixture programme as the 32-year-old is facing the prospect of more than 100 days of international cricket over the next 12 months.

Starc intends to prioritise Test cricket but even though he has swerved the Indian Premier League since 2016 to rest body and mind, he feels cricket’s competing demands are unsustainable for him.

“I think it’s certainly impossible at the minute to play every single game as a three-format player, the way the schedule is,” Starc said. “They see a break and put a series on.

“I don’t think playing three formats is something I can do for a long period of time, moving forward.

“Tests is far above white-ball, I’ll decide on the rest as I go, where my body’s at and how I feel about it. Selection and form pending, I’d very much like to continue playing Test cricket as long as I can.”

Starc says he would be open to playing the next T20 World Cup in 2024 after being controversially left out of what proved to be Australia’s final game against Afghanistan in this edition earlier this month.

Australia won by four runs but missed out on the knockout rounds because New Zealand and England had better net run-rates in their Super 12s group, and Starc hinted at a frank chat with chair of selectors George Bailey after being dropped in favour of Kane Richardson.

“George and I have spoken and that’s where it will stay,” Starc said. “I had strong opinions on it and had a conversation and that’s where it’ll end.

“It was a good conversation and many different things were floated there.

“I certainly still have ambitions to play T20 cricket for Australia but it’s a long time till the next one (they are not scheduled to play a T20 until August next year) and a lot of water to go under that bridge. We’ll face that when we get to that.”