Starc admits to having phase where he did not want to play any cricket

Canberra: After being crowned as the Allan Border medallist, Australia pacer Mitchell Starc on Saturday admitted that there have been times in the past couple of years where he wanted to stop playing the game.

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Allrounder Ashleigh Gardner and prolific fast bowler Mitchell Starc were the maiden Belinda Clark and Allan Border medallists respectively, having been awarded the top honours in Australian cricket.

Starc had a major role to play in Australia’s 4-0 Ashes victory and the left-arm pacer was also a part of the T20 World Cup-winning squad.

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“The last two years, as life is at the moment, there’s a lot of ups and downs. You find ways to adapt and what not, but it’s a reflection of the support base I have had throughout those two years as well. There have certainly been times when I haven’t played my best cricket or certainly times over those two years where I didn’t want to play any cricket. I’m very thankful for my support networks and in particular Alyssa, to play cricket at the highest level [and] be there to support me as well, I can’t thank her enough for that,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Starc as saying.

“It goes back to the work you do behind the scenes and the work you put in with strength and conditioning and time spent with physios and what not. A huge thanks to the support staff, particularly [Australian Men’s] physio David Beakley to keep me on the park for five Test matches and keep me on the park for five and let me play five,” he added.

Starc has enjoyed a sensational year of international cricket and captured a combined 43 wickets at an average of 24.4 across all formats, 12 clear of the nation’s next best. The left-arm quick was crowned the Male ODI Player of the Year following dominant performances in the three-match series against the West Indies which included a haul of 5-48 in the opening game.

One of the best pink-ball bowlers in the game, Starc thrived in the Ashes series and amassed 19 wickets at 25.36 with a best of 4-37 in the first innings of the Day-Night Test in Adelaide. Starc also scored 241 runs across all formats at an average of 26.8 to sit inside Australia’s top 10 run-scorers over the past 12 months.

“I went through periods years ago where seeing any criticism or different opinions was almost a bit of a spur for me to stick it up to them, but a couple of years ago I made that decision to get away from it all. Think that’s helped me stay really level between some really good stuff and not so good stuff and not let it affect me at all,” Starc said.

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