Ashes hero and T20 World Cup champion Mitchell Starc still hasn’t forgotten what Shane Warne said at the start of the summer.
Australian cricketer Mitchell Starc still hasn’t forgotten what Shane Warne said at the start of the summer.
On Saturday, Starc was named the 2022 recipient of the coveted Allan Border Medal, awarded to Australia’s best men’s cricketer over the previous 12 months.
The left-arm quick was a more than deserving recipient – unlike several of his multi-format teammates, he opted to take part in white-ball winter tours to the West Indies and Bangladesh last year.
Watch the CommBank Women‘s Ashes Series on Kayo. Every Test, T20 & ODI Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Starc was Australia’s highest wicket-taker in July’s ODI series against the West Indies, snaring 11 scalps at 10.63. His performance in the Caribbean ultimately proved crucial in deciding the Allan Border Medal, bettering short-format powerhouse Mitchell Marsh by just one vote on the final tally.
After helping Australia claim its maiden T20 World Cup title in November, Starc returned home with no red-ball match practice under his belt ahead of a home Ashes series.
Meanwhile, West Australian seamer Jhye Richardson was tearing batting attacks apart in the Sheffield Shield, taking 23 wickets in four matches at 13.43.
Warne, who has been Starc’s fiercest critic for several years, posted a series of tweets calling for the 31-year-old to be axed from the Test side ahead of the Ashes opener in Brisbane.
“(Starc) needs to find a bit of rhythm and some form,” he said.
“He had a really poor World Cup. He’s just not bowling well enough.
“It’s too important at the Gabba. I’m all for Jhye Richardson (replacing Starc in the team).”
It didn’t take long for Starc to prove his doubters wrong.
In a moment that has since cemented its place in Ashes folklore, Starc’s first delivery of the series bowled England opener Rory Burns around his legs, hooping the Kookaburra back into the pegs.
When asked about the delivery on Saturday, Starc responded: “You‘re running in just trying to hit the stumps, I guess. It was a straight half-volley on leg stump, I think someone said.”
That someone was Warne.
While calling the moment on Fox Cricket, the King of Spin bold claimed: “I don’t think there’s any swing is there? There’s no swing!”
However, Fox Cricket’s ball-tracking technology immediately proved Warne wrong.
Starc was the only paceman to feature in all five Ashes Tests, finishing the series with 19 wickets at 25.36 to help Australia secure a comprehensive 4-0 series victory.
The New South Welshman also averaged 27.55 with the bat across all formats in the 2021 calendar year.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Starc made it abundantly clear he has no interest in what Warne thinks about his bowling: “It doesn’t interest me at all. He’s entitled to his opinion.
“I’m just going to go about my cricket the way I’d like to, and I’ve got my family support networks and I get to play cricket with some of my best mates, so I’m pretty comfortable with where I’m at.”
Starc’s father battled cancer throughout the 2020/21 summer, and unfortunately succumbed to the illness weeks after the Border-Gavaskar Trophy concluded.
“The last two years, as life is at the moment, there’s a lot of ups and downs,” Starc reflected on Saturday.
“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’s 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 (my wife) Alyssa, to play cricket at the highest level (and) be there to support me as well, I can’t thank her enough for that.”
Starc was also crowned Men’s ODI Player of the Year – surprisingly, for the first time in his career. His wife, Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy, won the corresponding women’s award.
2021/22 Australian Cricket Awards
Belinda Clark Award
Winner: Ashleigh Gardner (54 votes)
Runners-up: Beth Mooney (47), Alyssa Healy (39)
Allan Border Medal
Winner: Mitchell Starc (107 votes)
Runners-up: Mitchell Marsh (106), Travis Head (72)
Men’s Test Player of the Year
Winner: Travis Head (12 votes)
Runners-up: Scott Boland (10), Mitchell Starc (7)
Women’s ODI Player of the Year
Winner: Alyssa Healy (13 votes)
Runners-up: Rachael Haynes (10), Megan Schutt (10)
Men’s ODI Player of the Year
Winner: Mitchell Starc (15 votes)
Runners-up: Matthew Wade (6), Adam Zampa & Alex Carey (4)
Women’s T20 Player of the Year
Winner: Beth Mooney (13 votes)
Runners-up: Tahlia McGrath (10), Ashleigh Gardner (6)
Men’s T20 Player of the Year
Winner: Mitchell Marsh (53 votes)
Runners-up: Josh Hazlewood (29), Ashton Agar (26)
Women’s Domestic Player of the Year
Men’s Domestic Player of the Year
Betty Wilson Young Cricketer
Bradman Young Cricketer