Sidelined with the freak injury he picked up during a training session at a Sydney ground earlier this month, Mitchell Starc was at his jovial best as co-host of Cricket Australia’s Unplayable Podcast and responded to Mitchell Marsh’s recent banter where he claimed that he would be the leader of the famed Australia’s Fast Bowlers Union (FBU) in the five-match ODI series against South Africa which began with the first match currently underway at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Having only made a comeback after being sidelined for nearly half a year during the ODI tri-series in the Carribean featuring West Indies and South Africa in June, Starc was taking part in catching practice at a nets session when he came in contact with a live training equipment and ended up needing 35 stitches to his left leg to repair the damage.
With Australia’s premier match-winner with the ball sidelined, Mitchell Marsh is hopeful that he gets a chance to be more involved with the ball against the Proteas and even went as far as claiming that he will be the leader of the FBU in starc’s absence – all part of a playful banter indeed.
"I've spoken to 'Starcy' (Mitchell Starc) and I’ve taken over as interim chairman of the FBU," Marsh had claimed. "Hopefully, the speedos (speed guns) are turned up for us and they’ll be in the 140s (kph), though I probably doubt that."
Starc, however, responded to the banter by claiming his innocence at having his name dragged into the debate and even contested Marsh’s claims to be even a member, let alone the leader, of the FBU, an exclusive club for the fast bowlers in the Australian national team, considering the gentle pace that Marsh delivers the ball at.
"I hope he's listening because I'm still waiting for that phone call. He said he'd called me to discuss this and that's a blatant lie.” Starc said.
“That is debatable – I think he's hanging on by a thread," the injured New South Welshman added with reference to Marsh’s membership in the FBU. "I think it's if he qualifies as a bloke as well (laughs); he'll hate me saying that.”
Starc conceded that Marsh has done well to be an integral member of the national side since the 2015 Ashes series but still wonders whether the all-rounder si truly eligible to a genuine FBU member.
"Going through the last Ashes tour, he was sitting in the row (on the coach) just in front of the bowlers' section, just hoping for an invitation. We gave him a few bread crumbs a few times but he keeps trying to get up there – he keeps telling us he's bowling that odd ball in the 140s (kph).
“I don't know if we just let him in because we're good blokes, (but) he's hanging on by a thread and if he keeps making comments like that he's going to find himself out in the cold very soon."