Home » Mitchell Starc opens up on T20 World Cup axing that led to Afghanistan’s historic triumph

Mitchell Starc opens up on T20 World Cup axing that led to Afghanistan’s historic triumph

Mitchell Starc opens up on T20 World Cup axing that led to Afghanistan’s historic triumph

Australian bowler Mitchell Starc has voiced his frustration after being dropped for last month’s T20 World Cup match against Afghanistan in the West Indies.

The left-armed quick, one of Australia’s greatest white-ball bowlers, was sidelined for the crucial Super Eights contest at Kingston’s Arnos Vale Stadium, with spinner Ashton Agar proffered in a conditions-based selection.

Afghanistan openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, who didn’t have to face Starc’s trademark inswingers, combined for a 118-run opening partnership as the Asian nation clinched a historic 21-run victory.

Australia subsequently failed to qualify for the T20 World Cup semi-finals, returning home before the knockouts.

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Starc was also dropped for Australia’s previous T20 World Cup match against Afghanistan, a narrow four-run victory at Adelaide Oval in 2022. Kane Richardson, picked ahead of the New South Welshman, conceded 48 runs from his four overs.

When asked about his recent omission on the Willow Talk podcast, Starc muttered: “Two World Cups in a row.

“Just the match-up, they saw previous games on that ground in St Vincent with spin playing a part and obviously Ash and the left-armer enticing them to make a change,” he continued.

“I think Ash bowled pretty well in the Powerplay. They probably played the spin quite well and batting first probably assessed the conditions a little bit better than we did, and had a couple of stumbles that in the end cost us the game.

“It was probably the fielding that cost us again that game. That meant we had to win against India and we fell short there as well.”

Australia's Mitchell Starc. Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP
Australia’s Mitchell Starc. Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFPSource: AFP

The 34-year-old, who is yet to make a decision on his future in the game’s shortest format, also criticised the T20 World Cup format, which used predetermined seedings to form the Super Eight groups.

Because points and net run rate from the group stage were inconsequential, Australia was faced with an awkward situation ahead of the Scotland clash in Saint Lucia, where losing the match would have improved their chances of lifting the trophy.

Mitchell Marsh’s side was also handed an arduous schedule in the Super Eights where they hopped between Caribbean islands every other day, alternating between morning and evening matches.

“We finished ahead of England and end up where we were pre-seeded as the second side. All of a sudden, you’re in a different group,” Starc explained.

“The argument was it was because it was so hard to get around the West Indies, so fans knew where your team was playing.

“So then why don’t you have the chock-a-block tournament at the front … and then spread it out at the back end? We had the two night games and the third was a day game, so it wasn’t the best preparation. We had a delayed flight out of St Vincent, it was a 90-minute drive from the airport to the hotel in St Lucia, and then we had a 10 o’clock toss.

“I think that was probably maybe a misread (by the organisers), the fact that the front half of the tournament was more spread out, and then you hit the super eights and … travel around the West Indies is probably not the easiest thing to do, certainly not to travel home from.”