What’s the story?
Just a day before IPL Auction 2017, Royal Challengers Bangalore have decided to part ways with Australian fast bowler, Mitchell Starc. The Australian fast bowler missed IPL 2016 through injury and now won't feature in IPL 2017, which was confirmed on Twitter by IPL.
On top of his decision to forego playing for RCB in IPL 2017, he will also take no part in the auction that will take place at the Ritz-Carlton in Bengaluru. This also means that the franchise can now buy two overseas players instead of one and have an additional INR 5 crore (US$ 746,000 approx.) in their purse, which was Starc's price.
After coming close in IPL 2016, where they reached the final, Royal Challengers Bangalore would have been hoping for a fully-fit Starc to take them over the line but the left-arm fast bowler will not play for the franchise in the tenth edition of the IPL and will now have to look for an alternative in the auction that will take place on Monday. He has been with RCB since 2014.
Much like the news of MS Dhoni’s decision to step down as captain of Rising Pune Supergiants earlier in the day, the timing of Starc's decision seems curious. But given that the news was communicated by the IPL, it does seem as though all concerned parties knew that this was coming.
While the news of his decision won't be music to their ears, it at least means that they will have more money at the IPL Auction and can go for the player they think can replace the Australian pacer effectively.
As far as Starc is concerned, his immediate assignment is the upcoming four-match Test series against India which begins on 23rd at Pune. For RCB, it is the IPL Auction that takes place in Bengaluru.
While the reason behind Starc’s decision to not play in IPL 2017 is still not clear, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if it was to preserve his body ahead of the Champions Trophy in June, having suffered his fair share of injuries throughout his career.
Royal Challengers Bangalore's well laid-out plans ahead of the IPL Auction 2017 have been thrown out of the window and now even though they have extra cash, they will have to spend wisely if they are to claim their maiden IPL.