Mitchell Starc to be under strict restrictions
Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc was back to training this week after suffering a terrible injury that kept him off the field for about 6 weeks. While his return was a delighting news for his fans, Cricket Australia decided to reduce his playtime in the first-class match on Tuesday by imposing some strict measures on the 26-year-old. Cricket Australia has told Starc that he won't be allowed to play the entire match between the New South Wales and Queensland starting from 25th October.
According to reports from Cricbuzz, the left-hander is set to play only half of the Sheffield Shield match for New South Wales against Queensland starting on Tuesday at the Gabba. The decision came in after CA had decided to ensure that he gains match fitness ahead of the opening Test against South Africa starting on November 3 and the hectic international schedule that is to follow.
Starc injured himself during a training session in September. He was participating in a training drill at Hurstville Oval in Sydney when he dived forward to field a ball. The fast-bowling spearhead landed awkwardly and ended up hitting the upper part of his left chin on a piece of training equipment. He was immediately taken to a local hospital where the pacer underwent a surgery and received 30 stitches.
Cricket Australia's decision to allow Starc to play only one-half of the Sheffield Shield match doesn’t come as a surprise, as they don’t want the pacer to strain too much ahead of the important clash against the Proteas.
According to the rules laid down by CA, players can be pulled out mid-match if it's in the interests of the national team. It is to be noted that there was a similar scenario earlier this year when Victorians Peter Siddle and James Pattinson only played one-half of a Sheffield Shield match before a Test series in New Zealand.
Starc hasn't played for over six weeks since badly injuring his leg and the Sheffield Shield match will span out to be his only workout ahead of a challenging series against the Proteas, wherein a lot of responsibilities will be on Starc's shoulders.