Mitchell Starc will miss the next Sheffield Shield game of the blues after Cricket NSW confirms that his father Paul has died of cancer.
The Australian fast bowler withdrew from clash with Victoria and started at Bankstown Oval on Thursday as he mourned the loss of his father, who passed away on Tuesday.
The tragic news comes after Starc pulled out of Australia’s bio-safe bubble because of a family illness during December’s T20 series against India.
« There is nothing more important in the world than family and in this case Mitch is no exception, » said Australia coach Justin Langer at the time.
« We’ll give Mitch the time he needs and welcome him back to the squad with open arms if he thinks the time is right for him and his family. »
Starc has a brother, Brandon, an Australian high jumper who won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The official Twitter account of the Australian Commonweath Games team wrote: « Our thoughts are with Brandon Starc and his family after his father passed away. »
Starc’s form was a topic of conversation during the test series against India, which the visitors won 2-1 because he wanted to fight for the rhythm at times. The left took on eleven wickets in four tests, but only managed three wickets in two games with the series in Sydney and Brisbane.
The 31-year-old returned to NSW in a four-day game against Victoria at SCG last week but the visiting batsmen liked him as a host who lost through four wickets.
Failing to get much swing, he was expensive in the first innings, ending up with numbers 0/71 from 14 overs. In the second excavation, he won 1/33 out of eight overs.
Starc’s form – and the Australian attack’s inability to knock out India in the fourth innings in Sydney or Brisbane – sparked a discussion about whether it was time to re-introduce a rotation policy for fast bowlers to ensure they were during long and strenuous test series stay fresh.
« In retrospect you could possibly have done that, » said the chairman of the selectors, Trevor Hohns, earlier this month.
« Before we finalize a team, we turn to medics, and sometimes even our players, to see how they are doing.
« The games were pretty close and close together, so maybe we need to be a little more clear about that in the future. In this case, however, all the bowlers had recovered enough that the medics gave them the thumbs up.
« We considered these three fast bowlers who had performed very well over a long period of time to be the best for the job. After checking that they had recovered sufficiently, we thought it was the best attack. »
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