Women's T20 World Cup 2020: Mitchell Starc to skip 3rd ODI against South Africa to watch Alyssa Healy play in the final
- Justin Langer mentioned that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Starc to catch his wife play in a home World Cup final.
What's the story?
Australian left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc is set to fly early from South Africa in order to catch his wife, Alyssa Healy, play in the Women's T20 World Cup final match between Australia Women and India Women.
Australia Women qualified for the final with a resounding performance in the group stage. Although they lost to India Women in the tournament opener, they beat Bangladesh Women, Sri Lanka Women, and New Zealand Women to keep their campaign alive. In the semifinal match against South Africa Women, Australia successfully defended a target of 98 runs in 13 overs to win the match by five runs and set up another clash with India Women.
Alyssa Healy, who is Starc's wife, had scored a half-century against the Women in Blue in the first match and hence will be looking to replicate the same performance on Sunday as her husband watches from the stands.
The heart of the matter
Australian men's team coach, Justin Langer, mentioned that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Starc to catch his wife play in a home World Cup final and the primary reason the team management has allowed him to leave South Africa early. Langer was quoted as follows by ESPNCricinfo:
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Mitch to watch Alyssa in a home World Cup final and so we were happy to allow him to return home to support his wife and be part of a fantastic occasion."
Langer even pointed out that Starc has been an integral part of the Australian men's team in all the three formats and the break will provide him with some much-needed time off ahead of the ODI and T20I series against New Zealand. Referring to Starc's absence from the dead rubber third ODI match versus South Africa, Langer stated:
"We have plenty of fast-bowling options with us here in South Africa with Josh Hazlewood, Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson all sitting out our previous match in Bloemfontein, and Mitch's absence will offer one of them an opportunity to impress in Saturday's match."
South Africa has already taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series, which would have prompted Australia to rest Starc anyway and try a new bowler. Besides, it will be interesting to see which team comes out on top in the Women's T20 World Cup final.Published 06 Mar 2020, 16:23 IST