IPL 2020: Mitchell Starc and Joe Root opt out of the auction

Starc last played in the IPL in 2015.

IPL 2020 Auction
Mitchell Starc. (Photo by Michael Dodge – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

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Australia’s left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc has decided to opt-out of the upcoming IPL auction. This is the second successive year that he has decided not to play in the tournament after missing the previous season to be fit for the World Cup and the Ashes. Along with Starc, another notable absentee is Joe Root among the 971 players who have registered for the auction.

The franchises have now been directed to submit the shortlist of their players until 5 PM IST on December 9. A total of 73 slots are to be filled to make up full squads of all the eight teams. Among 971, 258 are overseas players of which the maximum are from Australia (55) and 2 players are from Associate nations (the USA and the Netherlands) as well.

Starc hasn’t played in the IPL since 2015

ESPN Cricinfo confirmed the news of Mitchell Starc and Joe Root opting out of the auction. The former hasn’t played in the IPL since 2015 when he featured for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had bought him for the eye-popping price of Rs 9.4 crore in IPL 2018 auction but was sidelined for the whole season.

It is being reported that Mitchell Starc is set to feature in the inaugural season of The Hundred where he will play for the Welsh Fire who signed him for USD 160,000 (Rs 1.14 crore). As far as Joe Root is concerned, he went unsold in the IPL 2018 auction and didn’t play the 2019 season as well. However, with the T20 World Cup to be played next year, he was expected to put his name in the auction searching for the bidders but he decided against it.

The likes of Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell had also opted out of the auction last season but they are back in the pool. The latter had decided to take a break from international cricket due to mental health concerns recently and even returned to playing club cricket on November 23.

But still, his comeback for Australia is not certain. Though Maxwell registering for the IPL auction is a good sign for Australia. Apart from Maxwell, Chris Lynn and Pat Cummins have also kept their name in the top bracket base price of Rs 2 crore.